In Massachusetts, sex offenders may be required to provide certain information to assist law enforcement officials in identifying sex offenders and to reduce opportunities for commission of sex crimes within communities. The Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry Law requires sex offenders convicted of certain offenses to comply with registration requirements within two days of receiving notification of their duty to register.
Registered sex offenders will be classified as Level 1, Level 2 or Level 3 offenders depending on their risk of re-offense and degree of dangerousness posed to the public. Some crimes requiring sex offender registration are: indecent assault and battery, rape, assault with intent to commit rape, kidnapping of a child, drugging persons for sexual intercourse, inducing a minor into prostitution, possession of child pornography and sex trafficking.
All persons who live, work or attend post-secondary school in Massachusetts must register if, before August 1, 1981, they were convicted of a qualifying sex offense, adjudicated a delinquent juvenile, youthful offender or sexually dangerous person, or released from incarceration, parole, probation, civil commitment or the Department of Youth Services. Offenders who are planning to move to Massachusetts must register by mail within two days of moving from another jurisdiction. Likewise, those who live in another state but plan to work in Massachusetts must register within two days of beginning employment.
All sex offenders must report their full name, aliases, addresses including secondary residences, work addresses including full-time, part-time and volunteer and the name and address of any post-secondary educational institution they are attending. They must also provide details such as date and place of birth, height, weight, eye and hair color, any scars, marks and tattoos. Levels 2 and Level 3 offenders will also have fingerprints and photographs taken by the local police.
Federal crimes, particularly federal sex crimes, are among the most serious offenses and can result in severe penalties such as lengthy imprisonment terms, fines and sex offender registration. Information regarding offenders who register in Massachusetts may be available to the public – not only to Massachusetts residents – through the National Sex Offender Public Website. A future post will discuss the National Sex Offender Registry and its implications for offenders and the community.