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Wisconsin sex offender registry program basics

People in Wisconsin who face sex crime allegations such as rape or other sexual assault charges should understand some of the basic information about the state’s laws. This includes an overview on the state’s sex offender registry program. Managed by the Wisconsin Department of Corrections, the program requires the some, but not all, people convicted of sex crimes in Wisconsin to have their personal data collected and monitored by the state and communicated to various law enforcement organizations, neighborhood groups and more.

Defendants who meet certain requirements, based on age or the nature of offenses for which they were convicted, must participate in the sex offender registry program upon commencing parole, probation or other supervised time per the order of a court. The Wisconsin Division of Community Corrections manages this with the goal of decreasing the risk of any future offenses being committed. 

The risk of each defendant to commit future crimes is assessed based upon four unique characteristics, as follows:

  • The health of interpersonal relationships.
  • The ability of the defendant to manage anger and solve problems.
  • The nature of persons with whom a defendant is in regular contact.
  • The consciousness of dangerous thoughts or feelings.

Through the DCC, state personnel attempt to teach skills that will lower future crime risks to all defendants.

According to the state’s sex offender registry program website, the legal requirement to participate in registration was put into place in1997 with the Wisconsin Act 440. Registry information does not contain details about persons’ complete criminal histories but rather only about those convictions pertaining to the requirement for registration. 

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