|What is the
difference between a predator and an offender?
A sexual predator is a person who was
convicted of a serious crime against a minor (under 16 years of age) or
an adult, and who has been declared to be a "sexual predator" by the
Attorney General's Office. Most sexual predators in South Carolina
remain under the supervision of the Department of Mental Health and are
confined to the Department of Corrections (Edisto Facility). Those
sexual predators who are no longer incarcerated are required to register
with the local Sheriff's Office every 90 days under the provision of
SC Code 23-3-460.
The sexual offender designation applies
to any sex offense listed in SC Code
23-3-430, regardless of the date the offense was committed.
How does Law Enforcement keep up-to-date
on where sexual predators/offenders live once they leave jail?
1 - Before an offender's release from the
Department of Corrections (DOC) after completion of the term of
imprisonment, from the Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) after
completion of the term of confinement, or being placed on parole, SLED,
based upon information provided by DOC, DJJ, DJJ Parole Board, or the
Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon Services (PPP), shall notify
the sheriff of the county where the offender intends to reside that the
offender is being released and has provided an address within the
jurisdiction of the sheriff for that county. The DOC, DJJ, DJJ Parole
Board, and PPP shall provide verbal and written notification to the
offender that he/she must register with the sheriff of the county in
which he/she intends to reside within one business day of his/her
2 - Sexual predators/offenders must
report any address change in writing to the sheriff's office within 10
days of that address change. These changes will be electronically
submitted to SLED who shall update their data and the website.
There is a sexual predator/offender in
our area that I believe is still coming in contact with children. What
should I do?
If the situation needs to be addressed
immediately, please call the Richland County Sheriff's Department at
(803) 576-3000. Otherwise, the Sheriff's Office Sexual Offender Registry
Unit can be contacted at (803) 576-3072 or (803) 576-3139 during normal
business hours and they will investigate the matter.
The SLED web page has the wrong address
for a sexual predator/offender. What should I do?
Contact the Richland County Sheriff's
Department Sex Offender Registry Unit at (803) 576-3072 or (803)
576-3139 and provide any pertinent information you may have regarding
the offender's address. The SOR Unit will verify the address change and
make the necessary corrections.
Are all predators/offenders violent?
No. To be classified as a sexual
predator/offender, one could have been convicted of any number of crimes
(see SC Code 23-3-430). Some crimes
involve physical violence, and some don't. However, all are deemed by
the court, based on previous behaviors, to represent a potential threat
to certain persons (especially persons under the age of 16).
There is a sex offender living across
from the school in our neighborhood. Can he/she do that?
Yes. There are no restrictions to where a
sexual predator/offender may live. However, PPP may have placed
restrictions on an offender who is still on probation and under the
supervision of PPP. Current legislation is pending that would restrict
offenders from living within 1000' of a school, daycare center,
playground, or public park. If passed, that legislation will become
effective upon the Governor's signature.
Are there any restrictions on where a
sex offender can work?
Yes. If the offender has been convicted
of an offense involving children as the victim, the offender is
prohibited from working where he/she may come in contact with children
(school, daycare center, nursery, etc).
Can a convicted sex offender get
Can a convicted sex offender vote?
An offender can vote if he/she reregisters upon completion of his/her
sentence and any probation and or parole.
Can our neighborhood association send a
flyer out to residents with information on a sex offender who lives in our
Even though the information on the sex
offender registry is open to the public, it is not recommended that
flyers be disseminated or posted identifying a single offender.
SC Code 23-3-510
precludes anyone from committing a criminal offense using sex offender
registry information. Disseminating a flyer or targeting a single
offender could be considered harassment.
What can you as a citizen do?
Educate yourself and your loved ones.
Review the safety recommendations in
this guide. Know your neighbors. Be
familiar with the locations of offenders/predators in your neighborhood.
If you see suspicious activity, call the Richland County Sheriff's
Department at (803) 576-3000. Stay informed. Staying aware/alert
alleviates fear of the unknown.
Facts about Sex Offenders