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Sex Offenders are Heavily Monitored in Tri-Cities

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There are hundreds of sex offenders living in the Tri-Cities region but they are heavily monitored. Whether that's physically checking in with the Sheriff's Office or getting random check-ups from police officers. There are hundreds of sex offenders living in the Tri-Cities region but they are heavily monitored. Whether that's physically checking in with the Sheriff's Office or getting random check-ups from police officers.
RICHLAND, WA - There are hundreds of sex offenders living in the Tri-Cities region but they are heavily monitored. Whether that's physically checking in with the Sheriff's Office or getting random check-ups from police officers.

For lots of sex offenders, part of their sentence is getting those random face-to-face check-ups. Detective Athena Clark and Sharon Roybal with the Department of Corrections meet at least once a month to do that.

"There's always risk involved. We're dealing with felony offenders," said Roybal.

It is required that the women meet face-to-face for registration verification and compliance checks of the local Level One, Two and Three sex offenders.

"Most of them, I'll ask, you know, do you have any plans on moving. Do you have any intentions of changing jobs. Just kind of ask questions so I know a little more about them," said Clark.

They also make sure the offenders are not violating any of their conditions. Depending on the crime, that could be using drugs or alcohol or possessing pornography.

"We look for, you know, maybe toys. That could indicate there may have been children around. It just kind of all varies. There's a long list of conditions they could have," said Roybal.

The Tri-Cities really goes above and beyond to keep sex offenders away from the general public. Under state law, any owner, manager or operator of any place can have offenders sign a form saying they won't go there. The levee system along the Columbia River is considered a linear park. Sex offenders can't go there, as per the Port of Benton. The same goes for dozens of other places like public pools or ball fields.

"There's a lot of legal things in place that make it very hard to reintroduce into society if you have a sex offense," said a Level I sex offender that we will call "Tom." He finished his prison sentence less than a year ago and now lives in something of a halfway house for offenders.

"I can't find any other places to life right now. So this is kind of my only option. Most apartments won't rent to any sex offender for any reason whatsoever," said "Tom."

"Most of them kind of keep to themselves a lot of times. Because, number one, they don't want people to know their status and they know that society will immediately judge them and make it difficult for them to live wherever they're living," said Clark.

"These ladies are pretty helpful. They're pretty supportive and they aren't out to get your but they are trying to make sure you do the right thing," said "Tom."
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