Special Report: Dealing with sex offenders.

Sgt. Mark Bishop needs some backup.

The sheriff deputy&8217;s job is to keep tabs on the growing number of sex offenders who live or work in the county &8212; a huge task in which watchful residents can make a big difference.

&8220;Community members are our extra set of eyes,&8221; said Bishop. &8220;They are there everyday in the neighborhoods.&8221;

Bishop must know the whereabouts of the county&8217;s 160 sex offenders. It&8217;s only a part-time job but, logistically speaking, a big time headache.

State law requires offenders to register with their local sheriff&8217;s office upon release from prison. After that, offenders are required to check in again every six months, or when they move.

In the interim, Sheriff Chris Curry said his department coordinates with local law enforcement agencies to visit offenders at home or work. The cycle results in offenders being monitored about every three months.

&8220;We eventually make face-to-face contact with everyone,&8221; said Curry.

A Expanding problem

The sheriff&8217;s office is also charged by state law to mail out flyers whenever an offender moves into a neighborhood. Of the 160-registered sex offenders in Shelby County, 91 are subject to publication notification.

Reasons why an offender wouldn&8217;t have to notify nearby residents of a move vary, but include:

-The offender is a minor.

-The offender was &8220;grand-fathered in,&8221; meaning he or she lived at a residence before the notification act became law.

-The offender committed a misdemeanor, such as indecent exposure or sexual misconduct.

Curry said each year more and more sex offenders come to Shelby County, adding more stress to an already strained department.

&8220;Each year, more are convicted and released from prison than die,&8221; the sheriff said. &8220;All this is going to do is continue to expand. That means something else gets put on the back burner.&8221;

Making sure offenders are compliant with the law takes away man-hours and dollars, said Curry. The state of Alabama requires sheriffs to enforce the law but doesn&8217;t provide any additional funding.

&8220;You have to spend a lot of time and expense to do what we are required by law to do,&8221; said Curry. &8220;What we will see in the future is complete divisions who do nothing but monitor sex offenders. If you have a mistake here, the consequences can be drastic.&8221;

Offenders not in compliance

Capt. Chris Corbell said offenders found in violation of the notification act are dealt with quickly.

Warrants are issued for missing offenders and if the situation demands outside help, a U.S. Marshal taskforce can be called in to help find offenders &8212; on average, within two days.

The most common violation in Shelby County is offenders not telling the sheriff&8217;s office when they move.

A violation of the sex offender notification act is a Class C felony and a conviction would carry a sentence of at least 1 year and 1 day in prison and up to 10 years.

All offenders, including those missing or not in compliance with the law, are listed at the sheriff&8217;s department Web site, www.shelbyso.com. The site gives pictures, addresses and the type of crime each offender committed.

Curry said the Web site is a valuable tool in getting information out on dangerous criminals, but he stresses that not all offenders &8220;go out and seek a vulnerable victim.&8221;

&8220;Predators are what the judicial system really needs to act on,&8221; Curry said.

Sex crimes

Crimes for which sex offenders in Alabama must register under the Registration and Community Notification Statutes:

-13A-6-61 Rape in the 1st: Engaged in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex by forcible compulsion, engaged in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated or, being 16 years or older, engaged in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is less than 12 years old

-13A-6-62 Rape in the 2nd: Being 16 years old or older, engaged in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex less than 16 and more than 12 years old; provided, however, the actor is at least two years older than the member of the opposite sex or engaged in sexual intercourse with a member of the opposite sex who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective

-13A-6-63 Sodomy in the 1st: Engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with another person by forcible compulsion, engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated or, being 16 years old or older, engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is less than 12 years old

-13A-6-64 Sodomy in the 2nd: Being 16 years old or older, engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with another person less than 16 and more than 12 years old; engaged in deviate sexual intercourse with a person who is incapable of consent by reason of being mentally defective

-13A-6-66 Sexual Abuse in the 1st: Subjected another person to sexual contact by forcible compulsion or subjected another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of being physically helpless or mentally incapacitated

-13A-6-67 Sexual Abuse in the 2nd: Subjected another person to sexual contact who is incapable of consent by reason of some factor other than being less than 16 years old or, being 19 years old or older, subjected another person to sexual contact who is less than 16 years old but more than 12 years old

-13A-6-69 Enticing Child to Enter Vehicle, House, Etc. for Immoral Purposes: Any person with lascivious intent to entice, allure, persuade, or invite, or attempt to entice, allure, persuade, or invite, any child under 16 years of age to enter any vehicle, room, house, office, or other place for the purpose of proposing to such child the performance of an act of sexual intercourse or an act which constitutes the offense of sodomy or for the purpose of proposing the fondling or feeling of the sexual or genital parts of such child or the breast of such child, or for the purpose of committing an aggravated assault on such child, or for the purpose of proposing that such child fondle or feel the sexual or genital parts of such person

-13A-6-110 Soliciting a Child by Computer: Being 19 years of age or older and knowingly, with the intent to commit an unlawful sex act, entices, induces, persuades, seduces, prevails, advises, coerces or orders, by means of a computer, a child who is less than 16 years of age and at least three years younger than the defendant, to meet with the defendant or any other person for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse, sodomy or to engage in a sexual performance, obscene sexual performance or sexual conduct for his or her benefit

-13A-12-191 Dissemination or public display of obscene matter containing visual reproduction of persons under 17 years of age involved in obscene acts: Knowingly disseminated or displayed publicly any obscene matter containing a visual reproduction of a person under the age of 17 years engaged in any act of sado-masochistic abuse, sexual intercourse, sexual excitement, masturbation, breast nudity, genital nudity or other sexual conduct

-13A-12-192 Possession with intent to disseminate obscene matter containing visual reproduction of persons under 17 years of age involved in obscene acts: Knowingly possessed with intent to disseminate any obscene matter containing a visual reproduction of a person under the age of 17 years engaged in any act of sado-masochistic abuse, sexual intercourse, sexual excitement, masturbation, breast nudity, genital nudity or other sexual conduct

-13A-13-3 Incest: Married or engaged in sexual intercourse with a person he knows to be, either legitimately or illegitimately, an ancestor or descendent by blood or adoption, a brother or sister of the whole or half-blood or by adoption, a stepchild or stepparent, while the marriage creating the relationship exists or an aunt, uncle, nephew or niece of the whole or half-blood

All information from www.legisla-ture.state.al.us/codeofalabama.co