The Risk Classification Process
The purpose of the SORRB risk classification process is to determine the likelihood that a convicted sexual offender will commit a new sexual offense (i.e., re-offend). All information available to SORRB is considered, including information from the criminal history, law enforcement, the courts, prison records, community supervision (probation/parole), and/or sex offender treatment. The information is used to score standardized risk assessment instruments and to identify additional risk increasing as well as risk decreasing factors. Sex offenders are classified as Level 1, Level 2, or Sexually Dangerous Predator (SDP).
Risk Classification Steps:
Cases are referred to SORRB from several sources, including the Clerk of Courts and the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI).
Once SORRB receives a case, the process of obtaining the necessary documents and information begins. These documents include a national criminal history, police incident reports for sexual and/or violent offenses, court documents (e.g., indictment and sentencing), and information from the Dept. of Corrections (DOC) and/or the Dept. of Community Supervision (DCS).
Next, a SORRB clinical evaluator reviews and considers all the available information related to an offender’s risk to commit a new sex offense (i.e., sexually re-offend), which is summarized in the Risk Assessment Classification Report.
The SORRB Board Members review the Risk Assessment Classification Report for each offender and vote on the risk classification level during the monthly Board meetings.
Lastly, SORRB sends out a Notification Letter to each sex offender, as well as to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation (GBI), the Dept. of Corrections (DOC), the Dept. of Community Supervision (DCS), the Sheriff's Office of the county where the sexual offender is registered, and the sentencing court, if applicable.
Level 1: These sex offenders have an “average” or lower risk of perpetrating a new sex offense (i.e., sexually re-offending). Individuals with a Level 1 risk classification tend have no or only a few identifiable risk factors (e.g., few previous non-sexual crimes and/or few or no probation/parole violations).
Level 2: These sex offenders have an “above average” risk of sexually re-offending, and they are two to three times as likely to sexually re-offend as an offender with an average risk. Individuals with a Level 2 risk classification tend have some identifiable risk factors (e.g., more than one sex offense, deviant sexual interests, history of non-sexual crimes, and/or some probation violations).
Sexual Dangerous Predator: These sex offenders have a “well above average” risk of sexually re-offending, and they are three to eight times as likely to sexually re-offend as an offender with an average risk. Individuals with a Sexually Dangerous Predator risk classification tend have multiple identifiable risk factors (e.g., multiple sex offenses, deviant sexual interests, history of non-sexual violence, substantial criminal history, and/or repeated probation/parole violations).
Why is Risk Classification Important?
Risk classifications can be used to adjust community supervision levels, tailor sex offender treatment plans, and inform the public. When properly understood and implemented, they can help correctional organizations and treatment providers decide on the types and dosages of services that are empirically related to reductions in sexual reoffending.
Who is SORRB required to classify?
By law (OCGA § 42-1-14), SORRB shall classify:
Persons convicted after July 1, 2006 of a dangerous sexual offense against an adult victim or of a sex offense against a minor victim (as defined by OCGA § 42-1-12)
Persons convicted prior July 1, 2006 of a sex offense against a minor victim and who were still incarcerated on July 1, 2006
Persons convicted of a sex offense in another state who move to Georgia (regardless of conviction date)
Anyone the court orders SORRB to classify
SORRB does not classify:
Persons convicted of a sexual offense in Georgia, who were released from prison and/or placed on probation/community supervision before July 1, 1996 AND who are not currently required to register as a sexual offender
Juveniles prosecuted in juvenile court and who are not currently required to register as a sexual offender
Sex offenders who do not qualify for risk classification under the law, must petition the court for an order to be classified by SORRB