Purpose of the Court
The Tompkins County Sex Offense Court (SOC) is a post dispositioinal court that provides judicial monitoring of defendants convicted of sex offenses whose sentence includes a term of probation. Through probation supervision, court reviews, coordinated communication and mandated treatment, the goal to is prevent re-offending and thereby enhance victim and community safety. The partner agencies; including mental health, the Advocacy Center, probation, and law enforcement work together to promote the best practices in resolution of all cases thru collaboration, commitment, and education.
All felony convictions that are subject to the Sex Offender Registration Act (SORA) where probation is imposed and the defendant is a resident of Tompkins County.
Violations and modification of probation cases where the original conviction was a felony subject to SOAR or where sex offender conditions where imposed because of the nature of the crime.
Interstate and intrastate violation of probation transfers whose conviction included conditions of sex offender treatment.
The SOC recently has expanded and is now accepting misdemeanor convictions with an underlying sexual nature, whether SOAR registerable or not. The preclusion is that the terms of probation must include sex offender treatment.
The SOC staff is a team of specially trained professionals that include a judge, a resource coordinator, mental health professionals, attorneys, law enforcement, and the Advocacy Center. There are also two dedicated attorneys from the Assigned Counsel Program that represent all defendants, as well as a dedicated prosecutor.
The unique feature about this court is that it is a judicial monitoring court which holds the defendant accountable. The resource coordinator acts as a liasion between the criminal justice agencies and local service providers to provide the Judge with up to date reports on the defendants prior to court. The SOC team is also present during court to make sure that the defendant is holding him/herself accountable.