2950.02 Exchange or release of relevant information about sexual predators and habitual sex offenders.

(A) The general assembly hereby determines and declares that it recognizes and finds all of the following:

(1) If the public is provided adequate notice and information about offenders and delinquent children who commit sexually oriented offenses or who commit child-victim oriented offenses, members of the public and communities can develop constructive plans to prepare themselves and their children for the offender's or delinquent child's release from imprisonment, a prison term, or other confinement or detention. This allows members of the public and communities to meet with members of law enforcement agencies to prepare and obtain information about the rights and responsibilities of the public and the communities and to provide education and counseling to their children.

(2) Sex offenders and child-victim offenders pose a risk of engaging in further sexually abusive behavior even after being released from imprisonment, a prison term, or other confinement or detention, and protection of members of the public from sex offenders and child-victim offenders is a paramount governmental interest.

(3) The penal, juvenile, and mental health components of the justice system of this state are largely hidden from public view, and a lack of information from any component may result in the failure of the system to satisfy this paramount governmental interest of public safety described in division (A)(2) of this section.

(4) Overly restrictive confidentiality and liability laws governing the release of information about sex offenders and child-victim offenders have reduced the willingness to release information that could be appropriately released under the public disclosure laws and have increased risks of public safety.

(5) A person who is found to be a sex offender or a child-victim offender has a reduced expectation of privacy because of the public's interest in public safety and in the effective operation of government.

(6) The release of information about sex offenders and child-victim offenders to public agencies and the general public will further the governmental interests of public safety and public scrutiny of the criminal, juvenile, and mental health systems as long as the information released is rationally related to the furtherance of those goals.

(B) The general assembly hereby declares that, in providing in this chapter for registration regarding offenders and certain delinquent children who have committed sexually oriented offenses or who have committed child-victim oriented offenses and for community notification regarding tier III sex offenders/child-victim offenders who are criminal offenders, public registry-qualified juvenile offender registrants, and certain other juvenile offender registrants who are about to be or have been released from imprisonment, a prison term, or other confinement or detention and who will live in or near a particular neighborhood or who otherwise will live in or near a particular neighborhood, it is the general assembly's intent to protect the safety and general welfare of the people of this state. The general assembly further declares that it is the policy of this state to require the exchange in accordance with this chapter of relevant information about sex offenders and child-victim offenders among public agencies and officials and to authorize the release in accordance with this chapter of necessary and relevant information about sex offenders and child-victim offenders to members of the general public as a means of assuring public protection and that the exchange or release of that information is not punitive.

Effective Date: 07-31-2003; 2007 SB10 01-01-2008