Two of Gaines County’s 38 registered sex offenders are classified as being at “high risk level,” in an observation of the Texas Dept. of Public Safety’s registration database this past week.
Those interested in observing the public database may do so at the following website address: https://records.txdps.state.tx.us/sexoffender/PublicSite/Application/Search/Caveats.aspx?SearchType=County .
Pursuant to Texas Code of Criminal Procedure (Art. 62.005), the DPS establishes the website as the official internet public access to the DPS sex offender registration computerized central database.
Broken down from the 38 individual total within Gaines County, which includes two female offenders, 12 individuals were listed as being “moderate risk level” offenders, while 10 others were listed as being “low risk level” offenders. Twelve others had “unknown” risk levels or risk levels which were “not reported” in the database.
An offender’s risk level “indicates the level of risk a sex offender poses to the community,” according to the DPS website. “A risk level is assigned to each sex offender when the offender is released from a penal institution or placed on community supervision or juvenile probation. It is determined by using the sex offender screening tool adopted by the Risk Assessment Review Committee.” There are three different risk levels:
• Low: indicates that the person poses a low danger to the community and will not likely engage in criminal sexual conduct.
• Moderate: indicates that the person poses a moderate danger to the community and may continue to engage in criminal sexual conduct.
• High: indicates that the person poses a serious danger to the community and will continue to engage in criminal sexual conduct.
In a breakdown of offenders by United States Postal Service zip code, 35 of the 38 offenders resided within Seminole’s 79360 zip code. Two others had Seagraves’ 79359 listed zip code, while one had a Denver City listed zip code, but resided in northwestern Gaines County.
Around the immediate area surrounding Gaines County, neighboring Terry and Andrews counties had 55 and 53 registered offenders, respectively, according to the DPS database. Dawson County had 49 listed registered offenders, while Martin and Yoakum counties had 18 and 12 registered offenders, respectively.
The Texas Sex Offender Registration Program is designed to protect the public from sex offenders.
“This law requires adult and juvenile sex offenders to register with the local law enforcement authority of the city they reside in or, if the sex offender does not reside in a city, with the local law enforcement authority of the county they reside in,” said the DPS website. “Registration involves the sex offender providing the local law enforcement authority with information that includes, but is not limited to, the sex offender’s name and address, a color photograph, and the offense the offender was convicted of or adjudicated for.”
The DPS site adds registered sex offenders are required to periodically report to the local law enforcement authority to verify the accuracy of the registration information and to promptly report certain changes in the information as those changes occur.
“A sex offender who fails to comply with any registration requirement is subject to felony prosecution,” said the site.
Public notification of registered sex offenders is accomplished in several different ways, according to the DPS, and is made available, free of charge.