Texas to Change Sex Offender Classification System

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AUSTIN (AP) - The Texas Council on Sex Offender Treatment is expected to adopt a new system this week for classifying sex offenders.

Officials say the new system includes multiple tests and will more accurately gauge offenders' risk to the community.

It will replace the state's current risk test, which is used to determine which sex offenders must publicly declare their crimes.

The current test uses a point system based on factors such as age, marital status, previous offenses and the victim's gender.

The new system will include tests including psychological evaluations to determine risk for repeat crimes and whether supervision is needed.

Critics say the current test can be misleading and tends to overpenalize young, low-level offenders while overlooking some more dangerous offenders, such as women abusers or pedophiles convicted of non-contact child pornography.

The Legislature recently signed off on the new test.