GREAT FALLS — Last week, members of six law enforcement agencies teamed up to ensure sex offenders registered in Great Falls and Cascade County are in compliance with their court-ordered restrictions.
The Great Falls Police Department said in a news release that officers from the GFPD, Cascade County Sheriff’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Montana Department of Corrections (Adult Probation & Parole), Montana Department of Justice (Division of Criminal Investigations), and U.S. Probation & Parole worked in small teams and made every effort to contact every registered sexual offender living in Cascade County.
Of the 204 offenders, 188 were found to be in compliance. Four offenders have moved out of Cascade County jurisdiction, are currently incarcerated, or have died. The teams made two arrests and are working with the Cascade County Attorney’s Office to determine the next steps for 10 offenders found out of compliance.
Offenders found out of compliance are usually charged with the violation, or they are taken into custody and their release is revoked.
This annual compliance check is funded by the U.S. Marshals Service, and is conducted as a supplement to the sexual and violent offender monitoring programs executed year-round by GFPD and Cascade County Sheriff’s Office.
The website for the Montana Sexual/Violent Offender Registry says that unless court-ordered restrictions exist, offenders are constitutionally free to live wherever they choose. Montana’s registration statute does not restrict registered offenders from residing in certain areas. However, under MCA 46-18-255 , a judge may impose restrictions on an offender’s place of residence if the offender was convicted of a sexual offense against a minor and designated a Level 3 offender. A judge also may impose restrictions on an offender’s place of residence as a condition of probation.
Explainer: Montana Sexual/Violent Offender Registry