The number of Lyon County sex offenders registered on the Department of Public Safety’s website will increase with the implementation of a new statewide sex offender registration law.
Nevada Legislature in 2007 approved AB579 to comply with the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act passed the year before. The law changes how sex offenders are classified and who must register with the DPS. The bill has been hung up in legislation for more than 10 years, but on April 27 the Nevada Supreme Court lifted the most recent stay on the legislation, clearing the way for its implementation.
“It’s effective immediately,” said Julie Butler, administrator for DPS’ records, communications and compliance division.
There are four tiers of sex offenders, Tier 3 (most serious) to Tier 0 (least serious.) Previously, only Tier 2 and Tier 3 offenders registered online. Under the new legislation, all offenders must register with DPS, and changes in the way offenders are classified raises the number of higher-tiered offenders. Under the legislation, an offender’s tier level is based strictly on his or her conviction and the age of the victim, without consideration of other circumstances. Prior to the changes all Nevada adult offenders and certain juvenile offenders were assessed by mental health workers and rated on their risk of re-offending.
To paint a ballpark picture, Butler said under the old system there were about 300 Tier 3 offenders in the state. Under the new system, that number skyrockets roughly tenfold, to around 3,000, but the definition of who a Tier 3 offender is changes.