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Washington Association for 
the Treatment and Prevention of Sexual Abuse

Registration and Community Notification

Almost all sex offenders and kidnapping offenders must comply with the registration laws. This law, RCW 9A.44.130, requires such offenders to register with the county sheriff of the county where they are living and to update their registration whenever they move. The law has a number of requirements and definitions that should be carefully checked. The law does allow for a person’s duty to register to end, under certain conditions, contained in RCW 9A.44.140. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in the person being arrested and charged with a crime.

There are three “levels” of community notification. These are determined using both a scientifically-based risk assessment instrument and consideration of other features of an offender’s history, such as whether the offender abused a position of trust to carry out an offense. The degree of community notification is lowest for “Level 1”offenders and highest for “Level 3” offenders, which may include posting on Internet web sites, media distribution and other activities. The Washington Association of Sheriffs and Police Chiefs (WASPC) is charged by the legislature with coordinating the information and can be found at the WASPC Sex Offender Information Center.

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