Washington Gov. Christine Gregoire is considering ways to broaden the state’s ability to track sex offenders, including widespread use of DNA testing and electronic monitoring, reports the Seattle Times. The recommendations were drawn up by a task force of police, lawyers, and victims’ advocates. The governor established the group after a convicted sex offender was charged with the kidnapping and slaying of a 12-year-old girl. The offender had not registered with law enforcement as required.
The task force, led by Kitsap County Prosecutor Russ Hauge, urged that DNA samples be collected from all registered sex offenders, state funding be provided to assist local law enforcement in conducting in-person address verification of all registered sex offenders, and that electronic monitoring be used in appropriate circumstances. Other recommendations included continued services and support for victims of sexual assault and adding information on Level 1 sex offenders, considered the least likely to reoffend, to a statewide notification Web site if the offender fails to register in a timely manner or gives inaccurate information. The panel said creation of a separate sentencing system for sex offenders should be studied, dealing not only with prison terms but with tracking and treatment requirements on release.