Sex Offenders Registry
A sex offenders registry is an online database that contains information about convicted sex offenders. It is a comprehensive record of the offender’s full name and address, date of birth and photograph. The database may also have more detailed information such as their places of work, which you can search if you have the person’s name. You can also search by county or by zip code.
Sex offenders, who have finished their prison or jail sentence also remain in the registry. A sex offenders registry requires that all sex offenders must register with the police and it is a felony if a sex offender fails to register. In the United States, you can search for sex offenders by state (http://www.nsopw.gov/Core/PublicRegistrySites.aspx) or through the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Registry http://www.nsopw.gov/Core/Conditions.aspx, which combines the results from all U.S. states. If you live outside the US and want more information about a registry, we highly encourage you to talk to your local law enforcement service to get the correct information for your community.
There are three levels of sex offenders in registries. A level one sex offender is referred to as a “low-risk offender”. In the registry, Level One sex offenders must remain in the records for 20 years. However, their details will not be available to the public and the police must not disclose them to the public. This is why all registries will not allow you to search for Level One offenders.
Level Two sex offenders are registered for life and their information can be accessed by the public through their local police department or from the registry. Like Level One offenders, the police must not provide public notification of Level Two offenders. Since Level Two offenders pose a moderate risk of repeating the offense, the public should be aware of the sex offender’s physical description, residence, and occupation so both parents and children can be informed. Private and public schools, daycare centers, and the residents who live near the offender will be given his or her information.
Level Three offenders are the most dangerous to the community. They are also registered in the sex offender registry for life and the public can search for them at any time. The police can disseminate details of the offender to the public to enable public education and increase the awareness of the individual involved.
There are other types of sex offenders that may be included in a sex offender registry, but these are dependent on the geographical area in which you live.
A “Sexually Violent Predator” classification can be included for offenders that have specific characteristics that can cause them to be an even greater threat to victims, the community, and the larger society. Information about sexual predators is also available to the public as they pose a serious threat to the community. Registered sexual predators must update their information every 90 days.
A “Sexually Oriented Offender” refers to someone who has been convicted of a sexually oriented crime, such as kidnapping a minor for the sake of satisfying the offender’s sexual needs, abducting a minor or unlawful child enticement, among other related offenses. This offender is also one that has not been classified as a sexual predator or a habitual offender. These must register for 10 years in the sex offender registry.
The last type is the “Habitual Sex Offender” is one that has committed multiple sexual offenses. The exact definition is one that has been convicted of a sexual crime in combination with other sexual offenses. They are required to register for 20 years and their information is accessible to the public. The police may not disclose their information by public notifications.
Always check the sex offender registry for any of these types of offenders when you move to find out whether there are any threats to your children in the neighborhood or if your child is changing schools to a new community so you are informed and aware of potentially higher risks situations in your area.