When the prison door opens, and a sex offender walks out

BOISE, Idaho (KBOI) - Sex offenders typically go into prison and serve their time, but eventually the prison doors open back up and they get released.

KBOI 2News received an email from a viewer named Brian. An excerpt from his email reads, "I worked for a local company that knowingly sent their technician (a registered sex offender) into accounts where normally a sex offender would be prohibited from entering."

The man he was writing about was convicted of lewd conduct with a child. Our e-mailer claims he went into a Boise non-profit that caters to children on a number of occasions.

The Truth Squad went to the Ada County Courthouse to find out if that is legal.

"There can be certain conditions on probation and parole that would preclude someone for instance who's been convicted of a sex offense from having contact with minor children under 18 or even unsupervised contact with minor children," said Jan Bennetts, Chief of Staff for the Ada County Prosecutor's Office.

According to Bennetts, no contact with children is quite standard for convicted sex offenders who are on probation or parole. If that order was in effect, a sex offender wouldn't be able to hang around parks, the zoo or possible even go into the non-profit mentioned earlier in this story.

But what happens when the sex offender completes his or her probation or parole? Can they be around children?

"There's not a law that would prevent that," Bennetts said.

Once the probation or parole is over, there are only three laws on the books that regulate sex offenders.
They can't live or even be within 500 feet of a school, they can't work at any daycare, and they have to update their information quarterly on the state's sex offender registry.

KBOI 2News asked a handful of ordinary folks around Boise if they think the laws should be more strict for convicted sex offenders.

""Maybe, depending on what they did," said Boise State student Makayla Mclaw.

"I just think you have to be wise and watch out. If you're a parent, you have to watch your kids," said Boise traveler Phillip Nelson.