TOPICS COVERED ON THIS PAGE:
- Offender Types - Qualifying sexual offenses, violent offenses and definitions of additional designations for sexually violent predators and non-compliant registrants
- Tier Levels - Limitations of predicting risk and a description of Montana's three-tier system
- Address Requirements - Montana law and limits on where an offender may live
- Photo Availability - Why a photo may not be available for a particular offender
- No Information Available - why the Registry may not have information on a particular offender
The requirements and responsibilities of registration for both offenders and law enforcement agencies are defined in Title 46 Chapter 23 Part 5 of the Montana Code Annotated.
Individuals convicted of one or more of the following offenses are designated as sexual offenders and are required to register with Montana’s Sexual or Violent Offender Registration Unit.
- Aggravated Kidnapping, victim less than 18 years of age and offender not a parent of victim - MCA 45-5-303
- Aggravated Promotion of Prostitution of a child under 18 years of age - MCA 45-5-603(1)(b) or (2)(c)
- Incest, if the victim is under 18 years and offender is three or more years older than the victim, or if the victim is 12 years of age or younger and the offender is 18 years or older at the time of the offense - MCA 45-5-507
- Indecent Exposure
- Kidnapping, victim less than 18 years and offender not a parent of victim - MCA 45-5-302
- Prostitution, solicitation of a child 12 years of age or younger by a client 18 years of age or older - MCA 45-5-601(3)
- Promotion of Prostitution of a child 12 years of age or younger by a client 18 years of age or older - SB 547 and MCA 45-5-602(3)
- Sexual Abuse of Children - MCA 45-5-625
- Sexual Assault - MCA 45-5-502(3)
- Sexual Intercourse without Consent - MCA 45-5-503
- Unlawful Restraint, victim less than 18 years and offender not a parent of victim - MCA 45-5-301
Reasonably equivalent offenses of another state, a tribal government or the federal government and offenses that require registration as a sexual offender in the jurisdiction of conviction also qualify.
In 1995, the Montana Legislature required certain violent offenders to register in Montana in addition to sexual offenders. Montana is one of the few states that register violent offenders.
- Aggravated Assault - MCA 45-5-202
- Aggravated Kidnapping, victim not a minor - MCA 45-5-303
- Arson - MCA 45-6-103
- Assault on Minor - MCA 45-5-212
- Assault on Peace Officer or Judicial Officer - MCA 45-5-210(1)(b), (1)(c) or (1)(d)
- Assault with Weapon - MCA 45-5-213
- Deliberate Homicide - MCA 45-5-102
- Kidnapping, victim not a minor - MCA 45-5-302
- Mitigated Deliberate Homicide - MCA 45-5-103
- Operation of Unlawful Clandestine Laboratory - MCA 45-9-132
- Partner or Family Member Assault, third or subsequent conviction - MCA 45-5-206
- Robbery - MCA 45-5-401
- Strangulation of Partner or Family Member - MCA 45-5-215
Reasonably equivalent offenses of another state, a tribal government or the federal government also qualify.
Sexual and Violent Offenders
Offenders who have been convicted of both a qualifying sexual offense and a qualifying violent offense are listed on the Registry as sexual and violent offenders.
In addition to sexual offenders and violent offenders, the Registry also refers to:
- Sexually Violent Predators - offenders who have been convicted of a sexual offense and who suffer from a condition that makes them likely to engage in predatory sexual offenses, or offenders 18 years of age or older who have committed an offense against a victim 12 years of age or younger - MCA 46-23-502(11)(a) and (b).
- Transients - offenders who cannot provide a permanent address - MCA 46-23-502(12).
- Non-Compliant Registrants - offenders who have failed to keep their registration current as required by Montana law. Information on these registrants is provided as allowed under MCA 44-5-103(13)(f).
- Non-Compliant/Address Verification Overdue - Offenders who have failed to return the Address Verification Letter within 10 days of receipt - MCA 46-23-504(6)(c).
Local law enforcement and the Sexual or Violent Offender Registration Unit make a constant effort to locate non-compliant registrants. Please contact your local law enforcement agency with any information you may have on such an offender’s whereabouts.
Tier levels are a method of assessment to predict the likelihood that a sexual offender will re-offend. Tier levels also assess the threat that an offender poses to public safety.
Limitations of Predicting Risk
There is no known way to accurately predict the future behavior of another person. The process of screening individuals in prison places them into risk categories. This does not mean that the Department of Corrections has devised a way to predict future behavior. Rather, it means that a scientific way exists to evaluate an offender’s past behavior by comparing it with other individuals who have been out of prison for a while. This shows how an offender might act once released from prison.
Not all offenders with a high score on the risk test will commit another crime. However, they are more likely to commit another crime than an offender with a low score.
Montana’s Three-Tier System
The Department of Corrections or the sentencing court designates a tier level that assesses the risk each offender poses for committing similar offenses in the future:
- Level 1 Sexual Offenders - the risk of a repeat sexual offense is low
- Level 2 Sexual Offenders - the risk of a repeat sexual offense is moderate
- Level 3 Sexual Offenders - the risk of a repeat sexual offense is high, there is a threat to public safety, and an evaluator believes the offender is a sexually violent predator
If an offender was convicted in federal court or in another state and the offense requires registration in Montana, the Registration Unit may use the risk level designation assigned by that state or the federal government.
Offenders without a tier level - Some sexual offenders may not have a tier-level designation. Since the tier-level system was not enacted in Montana until 1997, sexual offenders sentenced prior to that year may not have a tier level. Sexual offenders may not have a tier level designation if:
- they were incarcerated prior to 1997
- they were not incarcerated after 1997
- the sentencing judge did not assign them a tier level
Violent offenders are not issued tier levels.