1996 the Minnesota Legislature passed the Community Notification
Law 1. 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
Prior to this law, most information regarding predatory offenders
was known to law enforcement agencies, and others in the criminal
justice system, but beyond those agencies and individuals the information
about offenders was classified as either private or confidential.
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.
Level One offenders are offenders who are determined to be at a
lower risk to re-offend. Police agencies may open a file on these
offenders and may release information about the release of the offender
to victims of, and witnesses to the crime, other law enforcement
agencies, and anyone identified by the prosecuting attorney to receive
Level Two offenders are determined to be at a moderate risk to re-offend.
Police agencies may release information to anyone included in the
Level One information release, and in addition may notify organizations
about the offender's release. These organizations may include schools,
daycare centers, and other organizations where individuals who may
become victims of the offender are regularly found. Law enforcement
will make the decision on which organizations to notify based on
the offender's past pattern of behavior. Law enforcement officials
may also choose to notify certain individuals that they determine
to be at possible risk from the offender, but this is not a wide
spread community notification. Organizations notified about a Level
Two offender are given this information to protect individuals in
their care while they are on or near the premises of those organizations.
The information is not to be re-distributed by those organizations
that have been notified.
Level Three offenders have been determined to be at the highest
risk for re-offense out of all of the three risk levels. Law enforcement
may notify all individuals and agencies included in Level One and
Level Two notifications, and may also distribute information about
the offender to everyone else in the community. In addition, officials
may use the media and other distribution methods to get this information
to the public. According to law enforcement policy, enforcement
officials hold public meetings in the areas where Level Three offenders
reside. At those meetings, information about the notification process,
about the registration of predatory offenders, and information about
the general population of these offenders is distributed and discussed.
In addition, information about a specific offender or offenders
is released. The information includes a general area of residence,
a description of the offender (with photograph), and a description
of the pattern of behavior that this offender has been known to
display in the past. This disclosure does not apply to offenders
that are in licensed residential facilities where staff have been
trained to manage sexual offenders (halfway houses) nor does it
apply to offenders in secure hospital facilities operated by the
Department of Human Services (hospitals at Moose Lake and St. Peter,
August 1, 2000 there is another way that the public can get information
about Level Three offenders. The Minnesota Legislature, as part
of the passage of Katie's Law (named after Katie Poirier) in the
2000 legislative session, directed the Commissioner of Corrections
to establish a site on the World Wide Web that contains information
about the Level Three offenders living in the community. Within
two days after law enforcement officials have held a notification
meeting on an offender, those officials determine what information
they want released on this web site, and forward the information
to the DOC. The DOC then posts this information, and maintains the
changes in location that may occur with the offenders. This site
does not contain information about Level One or Level Two offenders.
Please review the information contained on this site carefully.
The intent of the law, and the actions of law enforcement officials
and the DOC is to provide information that will improve public safety.
This web site can be access at the link below.