Sex Offender Registry
The Federal Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act requires colleges and universities to issue a statement advising the college community about where they may obtain information concerning registered sex offenders. The act also requires registered sex offenders to provide notice to each institution of higher education in the state in which he or she is employed or enrolled as a student. Sex offenders are required to register with the Sex Offender Registry Board. Following a sex offender's registration, the Board issues a recommended classification level. An offender may appeal that classification through an administrative hearing. Following the administrative hearing an offender will receive a final classification. The Board transmits the offender's registration data and final classification to the institution of higher education where the offender works, intends to work, is enrolled as a student or intends to enroll as a student.
- Level 1 classification information is NOT public information. No public access to Level 1 information is permitted.
- Level 2 classification information is public information. Level 2 information is available to the general public upon written request.
- Level 3 classification information is public information. Level 3 information is available to the general public through local police departments and the Board upon written request or by accessing the Board's website at www.mass.gov/sorb. Requestors may use this form. Additionally, police departments are obligated to make community notification of Level 3 information. Community notification shall be made to all organizations or individuals which provide services to children, the elderly, or other vulnerable members of the community and are likely to encounter such an offender.
College Officials Meet With Offender
Once HCC receives notification from the Board that a student or employee has been finally classified as a Level 2 or 3 sex offender, Director of Public Safety Dale Brown and a designee of the president (senior student affairs or personnel administrator depending on whether the offender is a student or an employee), shall meet with the offender to:
- Inform the offender of the college's knowledge of his/her final classification
- Outline the college's obligation to provide public access to Level 2 & 3 sex offender information through its Department of Public Safety
- If the offender is classified at Level 3, he/she is further informed of the college's policy of community notification
- Provide the offender with a copy of the public notification the college intends to release.
Public Access to Level 2 & 3 Sex Offender Information
In accordance with federal law, the college is required to advise the campus community where information concerning registered sex offenders may be obtained. Information concerning Level 2 and Level 3 offenders is available to the general public by contacting your local police department or the Commonwealth of Massachusetts' Sex Offender Registry Board, P.O. Box 4547, Salem, MA 01970-4547, 978.740.6400. Level 3 offender information is also available on-line at www.mass.gov/sorb. If you have any questions regarding access to sex offender information, please feel free to contact HCC's Department of Public Safety.
- Level 2 & 3 offender information received by HCC's Department of Public Safety is available to the public upon written request. Recognizing that HCC may not possess complete notification information on all sex offenders within its community, individuals seeking public information on sex offenders shall also be advised to contact their local police department or the Board.
- HCC's Department of Public Safety shall not respond to a request for Level 2 or 3 sex offender information unless the request is presented in writing utilizing the Board's "Request for Sex Offender Information from City/Town Police Departments" form.
- Level 2 & 3 sex offender information shall be maintained in a binder located in HCC's Department of Public Safety. The binder shall be available for public inspection and copies of Level 2 and 3 notices may be provided upon appropriate written request.
Community Notification of Level 3 Sex Offender Information
Police departments in the Commonwealth are required by law to provide community notification to all organizations or individuals which provide services to children, the elderly, or other vulnerable members of the community and are likely to encounter such an offender. Unlike local police departments, a community college's Department of Public Safety is not obligated under the Sex Offender Regulations to perform community notification of Level 3 offender information. Notwithstanding, it is recommended that a College's Department of Public Safety perform community notification of Level 3 offender information as follows:
- Level 3 offender notices shall be posted in at least one conspicuous location on each campus maintained by the college
- Direct distribution of Level 3 notices shall be made to all college departments and personnel which provide services to children, the elderly, or other vulnerable members of the college community and are likely to encounter such an offender, including, but not limited to: child care center, early childhood education programs, libraries, fitness center, summer camps, elder care programs, and college run elementary or secondary schools
- Community notification must be made within 2 days of receiving notice from the Board of a final classification of a Level 3 offender.
These recommendations establish minimal standards for community notification. A community college may engage in broader community notification efforts as it determines appropriate under the circumstances.
Penalties for Improper Use of Sex Offender Registry Information
Information contained in the Sex Offender Registry shall not be used to commit a crime against an offender or to engage in illegal discrimination or harassment of an offender. Any person who improperly uses Sex Offender Registry information shall be punished by not more than two and one-half years in the house of correction, or by a fine of not more than $1,000, or by both such fine and imprisonment.