New sex offender laws now in effect in Arkansas

Published: Nov. 6, 2019 at 3:17 PM CST
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Harrison Police Detective Ted Schaeffer makes sure sex offenders in his city are registered.

"It's almost a daily basis," he said.

Right now, he said there are more than 30 offenders Harrison. listed Arkansas as having the second-highest number of sex offenders per capita in the nation.

"Arkansas has had a problem with multiple sex offenders not registering like they're supposed to," Schaeffer said.

So in April, the state amended a law that if sex offenders don't comply with registration requirements three or more times:

"You have to register for life," the detective said.

Another new law deals with Halloween activities two weeks before and after the holiday.

"It prevents them from going out and being trick-or-treaters or providing candy themselves," Schaeffer said.

Level 2, 3 and 4 sex offenders in the state can also no longer hold a position of public trust, like a police officer or firefighter.

"We do run across a lot of these problems where a situation arises and we can't find a law where they violate that law, but it does cause a problem," he said.

The police chief said these new laws are a way to protect the community and prevent further problems.

"Our children is our most valuable resource," Harrison Police Chief Chris Graddy said. "They're our future. Here at the police department we want to do everything we can to proactively prevent them from these sexual predators."

But the detective says there does have to be a balance.

"Making sure these laws that they put into place don't violate the rights of the people. Even though they are registered sex offenders, they do have rights."

Other laws the state passed have to deal with sex offenders on school campuses, recording kids under the age of 14, and the definition of sexual grooming.

For more information on these new laws, go to