April 16, 2008
By: George Coppolo, Chief Attorney
You asked for information about how sex offenders on probation are supervised. You also asked other questions concerning sex-offenders, which will be answered in subsequent reports.
The following information was provided by Gary A. Roberge, assistant director of the Judicial Branch's Adult Service, Court Support Services Division (CSSD), which is in charge of probation. The figures included are as of April 8, 2008.
Sex offenders are subject to special court ordered conditions of probation, standard conditions of probation, and sex offender standard conditions of probation. Sex offenders are supervised according to their risk level, which is determined by the probation officer in conjunction with a treatment provider after evaluations and risk assessments are completed.
All sex offenders are evaluated for treatment services unless the court orders otherwise. Sex offenders are referred for a sex offender evaluation through the Judicial Branch's contracted sex offender treatment provider to determine if sex offender treatment is necessary. There are approximately 1,000 sex offenders in treatment. If a sex offender does not complete the sex offender treatment program, the probation officer obtains a violation of probation arrest warrant.
Officers specifically trained in sex offender supervision services and activities are assigned sex offender cases. Each probation officer supervises approximately 40 sex offender cases.
CSSD has a specific sex offender policy for supervising sex offenders including: (1) personal contacts, (2) treatment service referrals, (3) contacts with treatment providers and the probationer's family and associates, (4) home and employment field contacts and visits, (5) response to non-compliance, and (6) graduated sanctions.
In addition, sex offenders may be placed on electronic monitoring, required to submit to polygraph examinations, or both, depending on their specific case circumstances. An offender's supervising probation officer must approve the offender's address, and offenders must provide their address to the Department of Public Safety for Sex Offender Registration purposes. An offender must also notify their supervising probation officer of any anticipated change of address for approval before moving. The offender must also communicate any address change to the Department of Public Safety.
Included below are (1) statistics on the geographical distribution of sex offender probationers including those living in shelters and (2) a description of standard conditions of probation and sex offender conditions of probation.
LOCATION OF SEX-OFFENDERS WHO ARE ON PROBATION
Town-by-town statistics are not readily available. But the following represents how many classified sex offenders each probation office is supervising.
Probation Office Number of Sex Offenders
There are approximately 650 individuals currently being supervised who have been convicted of a sex offense, but not currently classified as a sex offender. Offenders who have completed treatment, are in compliance with their probation conditions, and have been on probation for a lengthy period of time can be considered for reclassification. The supervising officer in conjunction with their chief probation officer and treatment staff review the case and determine which offenders are appropriate to be reclassified to a traditional caseload. The officers who supervise these reclassified cases continue to see the offender just not at the same standard as the sex offender classification. All of their sex offender and special conditions of probation still apply. In addition, these cases are given to an officer who has had previous experience supervising sex offender cases. If for any reason the officer feels that the offender should be placed back into the sex offender classification he or she does so and increases the supervision contacts as necessary.
NUMBER OF SEX OFFENDERS ON PROBATION THAT LIVE IN SHELTERS
Most shelters in Connecticut do not accept sex offenders. The majority of the sex offenders residing in shelters are located in Hartford and New Haven as noted in the flowing breakdown. According to the Judicial Branch, there are approximately 71 sex offenders on probation currently residing in shelters.
● Hartford — 31
● New Haven — 26
● New Britain — 10
● Bridgeport — 2
● Danbury — 2
STANDARD PROBATION CONDITIONS
Following are the standard conditions of probation that anyone on probation must comply with:
1. do not violate any criminal law of the United States, this state, or any other state or territory;
2. report as the probation officer directs; give immediate notice if arrested; and, if incarcerated, report to the probation officer immediately upon release;
3. keep the probation officer informed of your whereabouts; give immediate notice of any change to your legal name, address, telephone, cell phone, beeper, employment or other circumstances; and permit the probation officer to visit you as circumstances may require;
4. do not leave the state without the probation officer's permission;
5. agree to waive extradition from any other state, territory, or jurisdiction;
6. do not operate a motor vehicle in Connecticut if your privilege or right to drive is under suspension;
7. submit to any required medical and psychological examination, urinalysis, alcohol and drug testing, and counseling sessions;
8. make required restitution payments in accordance with a schedule arranged by the court or probation officer;
9. do not possess, receive, or transport any firearm or dangerous instrument as defined by law if placed on probation for a felony conviction or a conviction of a violation of sections 21a-279(c) (illegal possession), 53a-58 (criminally negligent homicide), 53a-61 (assault in the third degree), 53a-61a (assault of a victim age 60 or older in the third degree), 53a-62 (threatening), 53a-63 (reckless endangerment in the first degree), 53a-96 (unlawful restraint in the second degree), 53a-175 (riot in the first degree), 53a-176 (riot in the second degree), 53a-178 (inciting to riot), or 53a-181d (stalking in the second degree);
10. submit to the taking of blood or other biological samples for DNA analysis to determine identification characteristics as directed by CSSD if on probation for (a) conviction of a criminal offense against a victim who is a minor, a non-violent sexual offense, a sexually violent offense, or a felony, and you were not sentenced to a term of confinement for or (b) conviction or having been found not guilty by reason of mental disease or defect in any other state or jurisdiction of a felony or of any crime, the essential elements of which are substantially the same as these offenses (refusal to submit to the taking of such a sample is a class A misdemeanor);
11. comply with any court ordered special conditions and probation officer-ordered conditions; and
12. submit to a search of your person, possessions, vehicle, or residence when the probation officer has a reasonable suspicion to do so.
SEX OFFENDER CONDITIONS OF PROBATION
A sex offender on probation must also comply with any of the following conditions that the probation officer checks or the court specifically imposes:
1. you will participate in and complete any sex offender evaluation and recommended treatment as directed by a probation officer (You may be financially responsible for all or part of the costs of such evaluation and treatment.);
2. you will participate in polygraph examinations administered by a CSSD-approved, specially trained polygraph examiner for treatment purposes and to determine level of supervision;
3. you will have no contact with the victim or victim's family by letter, telephone call, tape, video, email, text message, or third party contact unless approved by a probation officer. (Contact with the victim or victim's family must be reported immediately to a probation officer.);
4. you will notify your probation officer of any new or existing romantic or sexual relationship;
5. your place of residence must be approved by a probation officer;
6. you will not move from your place of residence or sleep elsewhere overnight without a probation officer's prior knowledge and permission;
7. you will allow any probation officer entry into your residence and notify any occupant of your residence that a probation officer may enter where you live;
8. all employment must be pre-approved by a probation officer;
9. you will provide financial and telephone records upon a probation officer's request;
10. you will abide by any curfew imposed by a probation officer;
11. you will not possess or subscribe to any sexually explicit or sexually stimulating material deemed inappropriate by a probation officer or patronize any adult book or video store, strip club, or adult entertainment club or similar establishment;
12. you will not use telephone numbers that provide access to sexually oriented services;
13. you will not hitchhike or pick up hitchhikers;
14. you will submit to electronic monitoring as directed by a probation officer, you may be required to pay for the costs of such monitoring, you will not tamper with electronic monitoring equipment, and you will not remove the equipment;
15. you will participate in any other treatment program as directed by a probation officer;
16. you must take any medication as prescribed if it is required as part of your treatment program;
17. you will not use any alcoholic beverages or drugs, except as prescribed to you by a physician;
18. you may not associate with other known sex offenders or convicted felons except in an approved treatment program or with prior probation officer approval;
19. you will not be in the presence of minors, nor have contact in any form, direct or indirect, including by means of computer, telephone, letter, tape, video, email, text message, or through another person with children under the age of 16 without probation officer approval. (Any contact must be reported immediately to a probation officer.);
20. you will not date or socialize with anybody who has children under the age of 16 without your probation officer's prior approval;
21. you may not possess children's clothing, toys, or games, without prior probation officer approval;
22. you will not go to or loiter near school yards, parks, playgrounds, swimming pools, arcades, or any places primarily used by children under 16;
23. you will not possess a camera, camera phone, camcorder, videocassette, DVD, or any device that can record or play back visual images without probation officer approval;
24. you must maintain a driving log or activity log, as required by a probation officer;
25. you must agree to and sign a computer access agreement that will be provided to you by a probation officer, before using any computer and you must submit to an examination and search of your computer or other similar equipment to verify it is not used in violation of probation or treatment conditions; and
26. you must comply with other probation officer-imposed conditions.