Rate in Pinal lowest in state
By TANNER CLINCH Staff Writer - Tri-Valley Central
FLORENCE — This may come as a surprise to some based on social media comments, but Pinal County has the lowest number of sex offenders per capita compared with other counties in Arizona, data show.
The county has a rate of 3.87 per 10,000 residents of Level 2 (moderate risk) and Level 3 (high risk) sex offenders, according to homefacts.com, which tracks data on sex offenders nationwide. By comparison, other rural counties have much higher rates, such as Coconino County with 6.18 per 10,000 residents.
Other rural counties are much worse. Graham County has a rate of 12.66 offenders per 10,000 residents, Gila sits at 10.49, and Mohave at 10.38. Despite the larger populations of Maricopa and Pima Counties, they still have rates higher than Pinal County at 6.87 and 8.50 per 10,000, respectively...
Sex offenders who are released from prison usually place themselves near their family, in their old community or wherever they can find a job, according to Bart Graves of DPS.
Harsh sentencing pushed by the Pinal County Attorney’s Office for sexual crimes may be the reason the number of sex offenders living in area communities is so low.
“The last couple cases we’ve had, we’ve gotten 100-plus-year convictions on these people,” said Tiffany Davila, the PCAO public information officer. “We don’t take this lightly at all.”
The sex offender registry includes only those who have been released from prison, not those who are currently serving their sentences. Upon release they must register as a sex offender; failure to do so is a felony.