Keeping Rochester safe from sex offenders - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Keeping Rochester safe from sex offenders

ROCHESTER Minn. (KTTC) --  Sarah Sommer and Robin Wood are Intensive Supervise Release agents for Dodge, Fillmore, Olmsted Community Corrections.

"Our job is to keep the public safe," Robin Wood explains, "but also reintegrate offenders coming back into the community."

They supervise the highest risk offenders being released from prison.

The region's only two ISR agents say community safety is the number one priority.

When releasing level three sex offenders, local officials have a community meeting in the area where the offender will be living.

Many start off in transitional housing and all are monitored via GPS ankle bracelet for at least the first 60 days.

Sommer says if an offender were to remove his bracelet, she and her colleague would know immediately.

"We would contact the fugitive task force for the state of Minnesota, and they would begin responding immediately as well as local law enforcement. And then all victims are notified," explained Sommer.

But for offenders who don't run, reintegration into society can be difficult, especially when it comes to looking for work and housing.

"So Sarah and I, and other members of our unit have worked really closely with employers, with landlords to maintain those connections," says Wood.

For a job that keeps them on their toes and on call 24-7.

They say, It can be very fulfilling.

"We've had offenders send us updated or pictures or letters of how they're doing and that's really rewarding," says Wood.

For Olmsted County, Wood says about 70 percent of sex offenders who are off supervision for more than three years do not re-offend.

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