Posted at: 11/21/2012 6:01 PM
By: Laura Lee
(ABC 6 News) -- In every neighborhood, there are those you know and those you don't know.
"I can pretty well assure you there is someone in your neighborhood that is dealing with sexual attractions that is illegal," says Bill Donnay.
That's why Donnay with the Minnesota Department of Corrections suggests some very important and basic things to always keep in mind.
"Basically the same way we deal with those people we don't know are sex offenders, we establish safety routines in our lives like you do, you keep in mind drunk drivers when you get on the road and you practice certain safety practices that's what we need to do in society to reduce sexual violence," he says.
Currently there are 17 Level 3 sex offenders living in our area.
Four in Steele County, two in Freeborn County, one in Mower County and 10 in Olmsted County.
"It's not where the offender is living, it's who he is hanging out with, who he is establishing relationships with," says Donnay.
Donnay suggest the three 90's and 2 R's. According to him, 90 percent of sex offenders do not re-offend in 10 years, 90 percent of sex offenses are done by perpetrators the victim knows, and 90 percent of sex offense convictions are first time offenders.
As for the two R's -- its now about residence, its about relationships.
He also says pay close attention to the people we bring into our lives and watch for behaviors that we need to guard against.
"There is a lot we don't know, but we do know something about how to increase safety in our daily lives and if you follow those basic practices, you will not only be addressing the known sex offenders, but addressing the risk of the unknown offenders as well," says Donnay.
Here are some facts to know, typically sex offenders are released into counties where the crime was convicted.
"Something that generally the public doesn't understand, is why can't when you get them to prison, why can't you require them to do all this stuff, because we can't do anything, you can require them to sit in their cell and lock the door, but theres not much more you can do," says Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem.
Meaning once they finish their prison sentence including probation, they are free to go.
But that doesn't mean you can't keep your eye on them.
"Once your designated a Level 3 it's a lifetime designation," says Ostrem.
According to the criminal justice system, once a sentence expires with an offender, they will still show up on the DOC's website. There are also new apps to download to pin-point exactly where they live.
However, until then, the state says they do a pretty good job of monitoring their guys.
"Very close supervision, very close monitoring by our law enforcement and we think that had a significant impact on recidivism," says Donnay.
Intense supervised release includes registering where they live, electronic monitoring, unannounced visits by parole officers, regular drug testing, and monthly meetings.
"I have to say in Olmsted County I feel extraordinary safe myself," says Ostrem, "they do an incredible job, most time people don't get a chance to sneeze without us knowing about it."
"I really sleep well at night knowing the people we've got out in the community and the level of supervision their on."
The next step for those offenders who are unable to reintegrate into the community is commitment with the Minnesota Sex Offender Program (MSOP).
However, the MSOP program is not part of the criminal justice system. The offenders who are referred to this program and accepted, then become patients with the Minnesota Department of Human Services to be rehabilitated.
In the many years the program has existed only one person has completed treatment and been released.
For more information on state statistics and to view the current data base for your community, head to the DOC's website.