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Whether you believe Joseph is a man who has overcome his checkered past or a danger to the women and children around him, one thing seems beyond debate: He did not go from being one of these things to the other within the past 18 months.
Except, in the eyes of the law, that is exactly what happened.
In others, sex-offender levels are raised in ways critics say arbitrarily drive offenders out of some areas of the state and into others, including Seattle.
In addition, critics contend, the decentralized system adds uncertainty to the lives of sex offenders, increasing the risk they pose to others.
For Joseph, his new status has had real consequences.
Shortly after he became a level 2, he was fired from his job—in part, he believes, because of the level change.
But the final decision on the offender's level—and, by extension, whether the public knows he is an offender—resides with the sheriff or the police chief where the offender lives.
In some cases, there are delays before files are properly reviewed.
Now his name and photograph would go up on the public sex-offender website, along with the block he lived on, and police would have the option of going door-to-door to alert his neighbors.
His freedom pending, corrections officials, armed with a psychiatric review finding that he had "unusual sexually sadistic fantasies and plans to carry them out," tried to get Shriner involuntarily placed in a mental institution.
But because he wasn't acting in a sexually violent manner at the time, and because it wasn't clear that his predatory inclinations were the direct result of his mental illness, there were no legal grounds to have him committed.
In February 2010, Joseph received a letter from the Klickitat County Sheriff's office.
Four years earlier, he'd moved from California, registered as a sex offender, and was made a level 1, the lowest risk to reoffend in Washington state's three-tiered sex-offender classification system.Joseph's case highlights a simple but persistent flaw in Washington state's pioneering sex-offender community-notification system, which was born more than two decades ago in the wake of a horrific crime.