In 1996, the Minnesota Legislature passed the Community Notification Law (Minnesota Statutes 244.052) that permitted the release of information about certain offenders in Minnesota. The intent of the legislature was as follows: “If members of the public are provided adequate notice and information about an offender’s release, the community can develop constructive plans to prepare themselves.”
Community Notification allows some information about some offenders to be converted from private or confidential information to public information. In Minnesota the amount of information, and the scope of individuals to whom information is released, is indicated by the risk level assigned to the offender by an End of Confinement Review Committee (ECRC) established by the notification law, and operated by the Department of Corrections (DOC). The higher number risk level assigned to the offenders, the more information can be released, and the broader the audience that will receive that information. Law enforcement agencies where the offenders reside have the responsibility for the notification of their communities under this law.
The following levels are assigned to offenders from correctional facilities. (Tabs to the right)
If the offender is assigned to risk level I, the agency may maintain information regarding the offender within the agency and may disclose it to other law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the agency may disclose the information to any victims of or witnesses to the offense committed by the offender. The agency shall disclose the information to victims of the offense committed by the offender who have requested disclosure and to adult members of the offender’s immediate household;
If the offender is assigned to risk level II, the agency also may disclose the information to agencies and groups that the offender is likely to encounter for the purpose of securing those institutions and protecting individuals in their care while they are on or near the premises of the institution. These agencies and groups include the staff members of public and private educational institutions, day care establishments, and establishments and organizations that primarily serve individuals likely to be victimized by the offender. The agency also may disclose the information to individuals the agency believes are likely to be victimized by the offender. The agency’s belief shall be based on the offender’s pattern of offending or victim preference as documented in the information provided by the department of corrections or human services;
If the offender is assigned to risk level III, the agency shall disclose the information to the persons and entities described in levels I and II, and to other members of the community whom the offender is likely to encounter, unless the law enforcement agency determines that public safety would be compromised by the disclosure or that a more limited disclosure is necessary to protect the identity of the victim.