Under the government’s new proposed sexual offenders regulations, the minister of national security will be required to notify the public whenever an offender is released from prison.
The government’s Registration of Sexual Offenders Regulations 2019, which is now out for public consultation, proposes that the minister makes a disclosure to the public to “heighten their awareness of the presence of the sexual offender in or near their area”.
After consulting with the commissioner of corrections and commissioner of police, the minister will be required to write to the police who will notify the public.
If an offender presents “a risk of significant harm to the health or safety of a specific individual”, the minister may notify that person of the release of that offender.
According to the regulations, an offender will be required to report to the registry that serves their area of residence within three days of release from lawful custody.
An offender will also be required to notify the registry of a change in address or name within seven days.
They will be required to report to a registration center every 11 to 12 months.
The day-to-day management of the sexual offenders registry will be managed by the commissioner of corrections who will be required to notify the minister of the intended release of an offender “no less than six months prior to the date of intended release of such offender”.
If an offender’s record has been pardoned or appealed, their information will be removed from the registry’s database and destroyed within 14 days. The offender will be issued a certificate of removal or destruction.
The register will be kept on a computerized database.
The commissioner will appoint a registrar to be responsible for the registry.
The registrar will ensure that the registry is maintained and kept up-to-date.
It will also provide “guidance and information generally and to specific persons that will assist in the effective administration of the operation of the registry and the keeping and maintenance of the register”.
The registrar is also mandated to liaise with the commissioner of police and probation officers “in order to facilitate the effective implementation” of the Sexual Offences Act.
The registrar will be required to compile a report twice per year – on June 30 and December 31 – and submit it to the commissioner of corrections.
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