Sex offenders commit some of the worst types of crimes that can be identified within the criminal justice system. Many sex offenders obtain this label by becoming predators of children. The public has a right to know the location of these criminals by performing a sex offenders search. Canada recently addressed the importance of this notion by now requiring that convicted offenders notify Canadian authorities prior to traveling outside the country. This new condition allows Canadian officials to alert the destination country of the arrival of a convicted Canadian sex offender.
This new found sense of urgency by Canadian officials’ further promises a more streamlined and accessible national database. This will enhance a sex offenders search performed by the general public when using the new and efficient database that was originally pieced together with poor navigation. High risk child sex offenders will be easily highlighted by the database. The new measures will be incorporated in a legislative act outlining penalties for offenders to be reviewed by Parliament in the fall.
These regulations will ensure that parole and probation officers along with convicted sex offenders alert police of any international travel plans well in advance of the dates of travel. Canadian border guards will be advised by police under identifiable circumstances to inform the destination country that a dangerous offender will be arriving shortly. The new procedures will display the seriousness that Canadian officials take toward the tracking and locating of dangerous sex offenders on an international level. The overall communication between officials at all levels of government is expected to improve exponentially with these measures in place.
A new law that has been recently brought into the state of Florida allows the public to know who the sex offenders are in the local area or offenders who live in their proximity – this new legislation even goes as far as allowing the public to conduct their own sex offender search if they are worried about something. Carrying out this sex offender search is perfectly acceptable and actually more common than you think – it is even possible to do it from your own home computer.
By law in the state of Florida, all people who have been caught breaking the law with regards to sex crimes are required to register with the law enforcement authorities and their exact whereabouts are known at all times – it does not stop there however; the said sex offender is on a list that is made public online and his or her mugshot is taken and it accompanies the name on the list – making it plain and simple who the offender is.
A sex offender search online may seem like a controversial issue and many may argue it is going too far – but it is essential to people, especially parents who want to protect their children from possible harm in the future.
The database contains those who have been convicted of a sexual offence and those who are also deemed as sexual predators by the court. The database dates back to 1997 for offenders (whose names will remain on the list indefinitely) and from 1993 for those who are considered to be sexual predators and a possible threat to civilians.
A number of sites online will allow you to carry out this search. The searches online are simple to use and user friendly. Firstly, if you have any concerns or are simply just curious about your surroundings type in both the name of your area including your ZIP code into the search box of the sex offender search registry and hit enter.
If, indeed there are sex offenders living in your area you will be quickly given a list of names of all of those convicted and those considered potential danger. Not only will the list give you their names, but it will give you as much of a physical description as possible about the said offender; including: * The full name of the offender (including any other name that they may go by i.e. nickname)* Full address (even including a map of how to reach this location)* Mugshot photograph* Their sexual offender status (ie. offender or predator)* Sex* Age* Height* Weight* Eye colour* Distinguishable marks i.e. tattoo or scar* Offence they are accused of * Date of offenceThe list is quite thorough and gives people the right to research their neighbors well.
Remember, that this is a list of potentially dangerous people, do not under any circumstances try to take the law into your own hands – the list is there to inform you of who to avoid.
So, if you want to carry out a sex offender search you can visit the following:* FDLE site (Florida sexual offenders and predators) www.offender.fdle.state.fl.us/* City data register www.city-data.com/so/Florida.html* Sheriff online www.sheriff.org/sexualpredator
Texas Residents Do Not Use The Sex Offender Registry
A recent study conducted by Sam Houston State University’s Crime Victim’s Institute revealed that a limited number of people access the Texas sex offender registry. The registry which was formed in 1991 is the second largest in the country. The registry is a tool for the community to access information about sex offenders and get resources to help with preventive measures against those individuals that commit sex crimes. The registry is maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety.
There were 72, 600 active sex offenders on the register in October. Community members can use the registry and search by a variety of terms including: one’s name, address, different zip codes, county and even institutes of higher education.
Over 600 individuals were surveyed in the report “Familiarity with and Uses of Sex Offender Registries,” from a TX university & re ported 7 4 percent of those surveyed were knowledgeable about the sex offender registry in the state. Of those surveyed 43% utilized the registry services. A few reasons why those surveyed used the registry included curiosity and the safety of themselves as well as their children. A total of 652 individuals was surveyed.
Around 17 percent of those that utilized the registry took protective measures with the information they received from the registry. They included: locking doors regularly, informing others of known sex offenders in the area and eliminating walking alone in the neighborhood. Safety measures for children included depending on the age of the child and family make up not allowing children to be unsupervised or left home unattended.
Those that had been victims of crimes were more likely to use the registries and implement safety measures. The study showed that Identity theft victims were some of the most active users according to the report. Those that used the registry the list included those that had been victims of sexual assault crimes.
The report showed no or little difference in reported use of the sex offender registry from participants that knew offenders in their community or if a crime was committed while they lived there. Participants did however utilize the sex offender registry if they heard of an individual in their community being arrested due to a sex crime. Participants would hear about the registry through internet searches, word of mouth and TV reports.
The Crime Victim’s Institute findings have resulted in recommendations to spread the word about the registry through increased awareness and resources for the community to help keep them safe from sex offenders. Those interested in the full report can visit: http://www.crimevictimsinstitute.org/publications/.
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Banned From Facebook
An appeals court decided that sex offenders are not allowed to be banned from Facebook.
A United States appeals court has decided that a law passed in Indiana last year banning registered sex offenders from using social media sites online is not legal.
The ACLU challenged the law a year ago, but it was upheld by a judge in Indiana. The court recognizes that social media is an important part of today’s society, and offenders online have the same needs for social media that other people do.
The ACLU argues that the law was too restrictive, and it prohibited too many activities that are protected by the First Amendment.
The way the law was written, it barred sex offenders from using online social media to look for jobs on social media sites like LinkedIn. They also could not post on news sites. Social media can also be used to follow religious or political figures.
The ACLU feels that existing laws protect children from sex offenders, and this new law was too restrictive without offering more protection.
The Court of Appeals agreed with the ACLU, claiming that banning sex offenders from using social media infringed on their First Amendment right of free speech. The ruling from this higher court overturned the ruling from last year.
Another reason for the decision is that the Court recognizes that the State already has a law stating that adults can not have inappropriate communication with children, and this new law restricted the same thing and more.
In California, a bill that would remove the rights of a sex offender to have online anonymity while using email, instant messaging and social media, among other sites and service online, has been blocked by a federal judge. Judge Thelton Henderson deems Proposition 35 to be an unconstitutional bill.
The State of California has summarized the bill in question as this:
Human trafficking fines and prison sentences would be increased and the convicted human traffickers would be required to participate in the sex offenders registry. The registered sex offenders would be required to reveal all activities and identities pertaining to the Internet. It would cost the state and local governments a few million dollars to address the offenses of human trafficking. However, this cost could potentially be offset with the increase in the fines that are dedicated to the victims of the crime.
This bill was passed by a majority vote of 81% in November. However, it was blocked temporarily by the filing of a lawsuit by the ACLU and a few sex offenders.
Speaking of the bill, the ACLU stated that Proposition 35 adds penalties to the sex offenders and puts upon them new restrictions. The example given to back up this claim was that of older crimes that have nothing to do with children or the Internet. The bill would require these offenders to disclose their screen names and their Internet provider’s information. This bill hampers the offenders freedom of anonymous speech online, which infringes upon their First Amendment right to free speech.
The judge who imposed the blockage of the bill stated that while the government has a legitimate purpose in their fight of human trafficking and online sex offenses, they can not regulate a person’s right to speech in this way.
While offenders search for a clear answer of how they can exercise their right to free speech, this issue is not a cut and dry one as the response varies from state to state. In Indiana, it was decided that a social media site ban for sex offenders was lawful. While a similar case in Nebraska was dismissed.
Jacob Wetterling was an 11 year-old-boy living in a small town in Minnesota when he was abducted on October 22, 1989. To this day, all that is known about his kidnapper is that he was a masked gunman. Due in no small part to the perseverance of his parents in lobbying for tougher legislation, Congress passed the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Act in 1994. This act requires states to implement a sex offender registry or risk losing ten percent of federal funding for their state and local law enforcement programs. Many states now believe that due to loopholes in registration and an increasingly mobile population, there is a need for a private sex offender registry.
One such online registry is the Klaas Kids Foundation, formed in the wake of the kidnapping and murder of young Polly Klaas in 1993. This site gives detailed information regarding the rules and guidelines for registration for each state, as well as providing a link to each state government’s registration website. Another valuable online resource is called Offendex. It boasts a database of over 750,000 offenders and you can search there by state, city, name or zip code. If you plan to visit a different area, it may be worth checking out a site called Family Watchdog as it provides access to lists of offenders in all states as well.
Keeping our children safe should be a priority for all Americans. Given the scope of the problem, it certainly does not hurt to have a private sex offender registry in addition to state registries. It is worth taking the time to investigate all resources available.