CRIMES AND OFFENSES Crimes and Offenses: To Change and Enact Provisions of Law Relating to Classification of Sexual Offenders, Sexual Offender Registration, and Restrictions on Sexual Offenders’ Residences, Workplaces, and Activities; to Amend Article 35 of Chapter 6 of Title 5 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Relating to Appeals Requiring an Application for Appeal, so as to Make Such Code Section Applicable to Appeals from Decisions of Superior Courts Reviewing a Decision of the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board; to Amend Article 1 of Chapter 10 of Title 17 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Relating to Procedures for Sentencing in Criminal Cases, so as to Provide That, with Respect to Sexual Offenses Committed After a Certain Date in This State, Classification Shall Be by the Sentencing Court Rather Than the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board; to Amend Article 2 of Chapter 1 of Title 42 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated, Relating to Classification and Registration of Sexual Offenders and Regulation of the Conduct of Such Offenders, so as to Revise Provisions Relating to Registration of Sexual Offenders; to Change Certain Definitions; to Require the Department of Corrections to Forward Certain Information to Sheriffs; to Provide for Registration and Reporting by Sexual Offenders Who Do Not Have a Residence Address; to Provide for Taking of Palm Prints and DNA Samples in Certain Cases; to Change Certain Provisions Relative to Relief from Registration; to Change Provisions Relating to Residence, Workplace, and Volunteering Restrictions; to Change Provisions Relating to the Time Frame a Sheriff Has to Update Certain Information; to Remove Annual Registration Fees; to Change Registration Criteria for Persons Moving to This State; to Change Certain Penalty Provisions; to Change Restrictions on Volunteer and Religious Activities; to Revise Provisions Relative to Classification of Sex Offenders; to Revise Certain Definitions; to Change Provisions Relative to the Process of Classification by the Sexual Offender Registration Review Board and Review of Such Classifications; to Provide for Procedure and Review; to Provide a Mechanism for Certain Elderly and Disabled Sexual Offenders to Petition the Superior Court to Be Released from Certain Residency Requirements; to Provide for Other Related Matters; to Provide for an Effective Date; to Repeal Conflicting Laws; and for Other Purposes.

Document Type

Peach Sheet


The purpose of this bill would have been to revise Georgia sex offender laws to promote the isolation of dangerous sexual predators from the public and ensure that they are adequately monitored in a manner that is constitutional. The key focus of the bill would have been to ensure the law properly directs resources towards protecting society from the sexual offenders who pose the greatest threat to others by truly isolating the dangerous sexual predator. The bill sought to narrow some of the previous statutory reporting requirements for sexual offenders that were implemented in 2008, after the Georgia legislature passed SB 1, which prohibited offenders from residing, working, or volunteering within 1000 feet of any child care facility, church, school, or area where minors congregate. The only offenders exempted from these requirements were sexual offenders who could offer sufficient proof of employment or residency established before July 1, 2006. SB 157 aimed to lessen some of these requirements by providing for certain exceptions. Specifically, the bill would have narrowed the restrictions on volunteer activities, permitting registered sexual offenders to volunteer in activities limited to persons who are eighteen years or older and activities involving worship services or religious activities, provided such activities do not involve supervising, teaching, directing minors, or otherwise participating with minors in an unsupervised environment. The bill also would have given superior courts the power to release an individual from the residency requirements if the court finds that the individual does not pose a substantial risk of recidivism, and the offender either resides in a nursing home, is totally or permanently disabled, or is seriously physically incapacitated due to illness or injury. The bill would have exempted private, unlicensed, in-home day care for the purposes of the residence, employment, and volunteer restrictions. The bill also would have given homeless offenders who can provide no residence address specific direction as to how to comply with the statutory requirements. Homeless sexual offenders would have been allowed to provide the place where they sleep as an address. The bill would have required homeless offenders to report weekly to the sheriff’s office in the county in which they reside. SB 157 would have added a new code section, 17-10-6.4, to give the sentencing court discretion to classify a sexual offender according to the likelihood the offender will commit another crime against a minor or engage in another dangerous sexual offense. The bill would have provided for the offender to be categorized according to a Level I risk, Level II risk, or “Sexually dangerous predator” based on a review of a risk assessment profile and any evidence introduced by the prosecution or defense. The bill would have further provided that the information considered by the sentencing court would become a matter of public record. The bill also would have provided for specific appeal guidelines pursuant to the risk assessment classification or category assigned to each offender. SB 157 would have also made the kidnapping or false imprisonment of a minor a sexual offense only when the offense involved conduct of a sexual nature. The bill also would have revised various punishment requirements under the affected sections. Specifically, it would have amended Code section 42- 1-12(n) by eliminating a mandatory punishment of imprisonment for life upon a conviction of a second offense for failing to comply with the registration requirements.

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