In a manner that does not incite panic, instruct your children to avoid all contact with the SVP, even if the SVP's offense of conviction does not involve an offense against a child. Instruct them to avoid being near the SVP's residence or workplace. Review the public safety materials with your children and encourage your child to tell you about any contact with the SVP or any other person who makes them feel uncomfortable. It is important to teach your children about appropriate and inappropriate contact and to encourage regular discussion about their interactions with others.
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If you notice behavioral changes or if you suspect that your child has been sexually victimized, contact your local law enforcement agency, Department of Social Services, or Child Advocacy Center immediately. Also, give your child permission to talk to you about things that may be bothering them and encourage them to attend child abuse prevention programs held through schools and community programs. It is important to remember that though SVP's may pose a risk, they are not the only sex offenders in the community. Other offenders who may be dangerous, but who are not subject to community notification by law, include all un-convicted sex offenders, all sex offenders whose offenses were committed prior to July 1, 1999, and many who have not been identified as known sex offenders. Research indicates that a person is most likely to be sexually assaulted by someone they know.
Most SVP's are sentenced to lengthy prison terms, although some SVP's can be released into the community on probation directly upon sentencing or on parole following incarceration and sex offense specific mental health treatment at the Department of Corrections. This may also mean that the SVP may be granted a work release as a condition of parole or probation. In determining an SVP's risk to the community, the court or parole board considers the professional recommendation of the probation officer or Department of Corrections manager, and the assessment of sex offense-specific mental health evaluators or treatment providers. If the SVP is determined to be manageable in the community, a recommendation may be made that he / she be supervised by probation or parole. In all cases, the court or parole board must make the determination regarding the placement of an SVP. The court or parole board makes the final determination regarding the SVP's release into the community. As a State, we do not imprison all sex offenders - 65% are released into the community, including those who are supervised by the criminal justice system through probation or parole. In Colorado, many SVP's will be subject to our Lifetime Supervision Law, which makes it easier to contain an offender if they demonstrate increased risk. In cases of other sex offenders who are not determined to be SVP's, many are convicted sex offenses with determinate sentences, meaning they have a time limit on their sentence. These offenders may complete their required period of supervision or be released into the community without probation or parole supervision. Most are required to register as a sex offender with law enforcement.
Many sex offenders can be closely monitored for risk behavior while under supervision and treatment. Some can learn through treatment to manage their sexual offender behaviors and decrease their risk of re-offense. However, such behavior management should not be considered a "cure" and treatment cannot permanently eliminate the risk that sex offenders may repeat their offenses.
Read the educational and public safety materials available at the Community Notification Meeting, which offer prevention information regarding sex offenders for you and your family. Read the SVP Bulletin to learn more about this specific SVP and any behaviors you should report to law enforcement. Support and attend sexual assault prevention programs for yourself and your children.