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Anyone can check national sex offender registry lists to see if there are any registered sex offenders in his or her area. In some communities, residents are notified when a sex offender has moved into the area. Take the following steps upon notification of a sex offender in your area:
* Talk to your children about the definition of a sex offender.
* Instruct your children about staying away from strangers.
* Inform your children about where the sex offender lives.
* Be sure your child sees a photo of the sex offender.
* Role play with your children so they understand what to do if they are approached by someone they don't know.
* Contact your local police department if you feel that a crime has been committed, or if you suspect inappropriate activity.
* Check with your school to find out what precautions they take to protect your child and other children, and inquire about any programs dealing with strangers.
In most states, sex offenders will be placed into a specific classification according to their degree of risk. While they will typically be listed on a registered sex offender list, they may also be the focus of flyers and even letters to individuals in the community. Risks levels are typically rated low, moderate, or high.
In most cases, the following may occur:
* Neighborhoods are typically notified of high risk offenders.
* Schools, day cares, summer camps, and other organizations that involve children are typically notified of moderate and high offenders.
* Law enforcement agencies are notified of all sex offenders.
There are approximately 63,000 people registered in California as sex offenders. There are specific residence addresses on at least 33,500. There are also an additional 30,000 that are listed by zip code, city, and county.
The offenders that are listed can be found in a number of sexual offender Websites. These sites allow the public to do a sexual offender search of their area. Many of these sites also allow the public to input an individual's name and/or e-mail address to see if he is listed on the site. These sexual offender lists are typically updated several times a month.
In some states, such as Georgia, keeping track of those placed on a national sex offenders registry is now being aided by technology. New regulations are being put into place that require sexual predators to wear global positioning systems in the form of a satellite tracking bracelet, and these predators must wear the bracelets for the rest of their lives.
If you aren't sure if your state is using the GPS bracelet to track sex offenders, contact your local law enforcement agency. For a list of sex offenders in your area, you can access several Websites that offer a national sex offender registry.
People interested in conducting a sexual offender search online can visit several Websites that are maintained and updated regularly. Those who want to search for registered sex offenders in Texas may access several Websites.
These Websites are dedicated to providing the public with as much information that is allowed by law concerning sexual offenders. Information such as names, aliases, and current reported addresses are typically listed on these sexual offender lists. Sexual offenders are also required to contact their local law enforcement agency after they are released from confinement and/or have a change of address.
Typically a registered sexual offenders list is maintained by a state agency. There are also national registered sexual offenders lists. Usually a state's Department of Corrections and Human Services is responsible for informing local law enforcement about the release of a sex offender.
The law agency or county prosecutor will determine the degree of risk from that sex offender. Once this is done, a proposed scope of notification is created. The public may then be notified. If not, the public can still access a registered sexual offender list online.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|