Local municipalities will be part of the violent sex offender placement review process in Kenosha County under a resolution approved by the Kenosha County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.
Erin Decker, who worked to draft the resolution, said it requires the county to work with local municipalities, makes the process more transparent and requests the State Legislature clarify and revise certain definitions within the state statute.
“Right now the municipalities are not given a heads-up that this is going to happen until after the placement has been ordered by the court,” Decker said. “When they are looking for a place, they need to work with the municipalities to make sure that place fits the state statutes and it’s a good placement.”
State statute does not require communication between the county and the municipality on where the violent sex offender is proposed to be placed. Under the resolution, approved by a 17-6 vote, the county committee that reviews potential locations for placement of the most egregious offenders (adjudicated under Chapter 980) must notify municipal leaders within 10 business days of identifying a potential residence and collaborate to ensure it meets placement rules.
In his objection to the resolution, Supervisor Andy Berg cited the difficulty in placement violent sex offenders who are ordered into supervisor release and the danger of sex offenders being “dropped off” on the street because a location cannot be found.
“I know that when people do the crime, they’ve got to do the time,” Berg said. “When they get done with their time, they have to come back into our community somehow.”