Sexual Offenders Assessment Board

Under Pennsylvania law, the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board (SOAB) is responsible for conducting assessments of certain convicted sex offenders in order to assist the court in determining whether they meet the legal criteria for classification as a Sexually Violent Predator (SVP). The law requires that the Sexual Offenders Assessment Board be comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, and criminal justice professionals, all experts in the evaluation and treatment of sexual offenders. SOAB members are appointed to four-year terms by the Governor. During the most recent reporting period, the SOAB had a total panel complement of 76 members. The SOAB is administered by an Executive Director, Clinical Director, Staff Psychologist, a team of Investigators and is supported by an administrative staff. 

Following a conviction of a sexually violent offense, but before sentencing, Pennsylvania courts must order a person to undergo an assessment by the SOAB. If a sex offender is classified by the court as an SVP, he or she is subject to lifetime registration with the Pennsylvania State Police (with verification on a quarterly basis), lifetime sex offender counseling (attending at least once a month with a provider approved by the SOAB), and active community notification. Monthly SVP treatment compliance is tracked by the SOAB. 

The SOAB also conducts assessments for the Pennsylvania Parole Board. These assessments, which are independent expert opinions, do not address the SVP classification. Rather, they focus on issues related to the risks, treatment, and management needs posed by the individual sex offender being considered for parole.

On February 8, 2004, Act 21 of 2003 went into effect. Under this Act, the juvenile court system is mandated to refer to the SOAB for assessment those persons found to be delinquent for an act of sexual violence, which if committed by an adult would be a violation of 18 Pa. C. S. § 3121, 3124.1, 3125, 3126, and 4302, and who remain in an institution or placement pursuant to their adjudication 90 days prior to their 20th birthday. The purpose of the SOAB assessment is to determine whether the juvenile is in need of involuntary treatment because of his difficulty in controlling his sexually violent behavior.

At the SOAB, we understand that a commitment to protecting your community and your family are what bring you to our site. Sex offenders, sex offenses, commonwealth law, and sex offender registration and notification are important topics and involve many partners within the criminal justice system.

Our goal is your goal - community safety.

Our best resource? Information.

On this website, we share resources and materials on how you, your family, your community, and your local and state lawmakers may accomplish our shared goal.