Archive for February 10, 2010

The Failure of Oklahoma Sex Offender Zones

February 10, 2010 Comments off Sex offender zones.

A law intended to protect Oklahomans from sex offenders may be having the exact opposite effect.
Police departments around Oklahoma are openly protesting the Sex Offender Residence Restriction Law.
Police say, lawmakers hoped it would drive sex offenders out of the state.
Instead, police say, sex offenders have simply stopped registering.

OH County Auditor Posting Sex Offender Info

February 10, 2010 Comments off

Ohio State University Lantern: Web site identifies sex offenders.

Finding out if a sex offender is living in your neighborhood just got a little easier. With many students in the process of finding housing for next school year, the frustrations of trying to land that perfect place and location takes a back seat to safety concerns about living in a high-crime area.

Franklin County Auditor Clarence Mingo announced Jan. 12 an enhanced Web site feature that allows Franklin County residents to identify and locate registered sex offenders who live within a two-mile radius.

The auditor’s Web site, Franklin County’s most popular site with about 1 million people logging in a month, is now providing residents with more than just property values, but also the ability to know their neighbors and peace of mind when searching for a home (as well as an invasion of privacy and a threat to the safety of those on the registry).

After doing a property search on the site’s real estate page, a user can click on “Area Sex Offender Inquiry” and view information on all registered sex offenders, including name, photo, location and crime committed. The Area Sex Offender Inquiry combines information from the Ohio Attorney General’s Web site and Franklin County Sheriff’s Web site. The state attorney general’s Web site shows about 2,400 sex offenders living in Franklin County.

Juveniles Crowd Mich. Sex Offender Registry

February 10, 2010 Comments off Juveniles crowd Mich. sex offender registry – More than 3,500 teen and pre-teen sex offenders on state list.

Nearly eight percent (8%) of Michigan’s sex offender population is made up of juveniles, according to statistics compiled by the Michigan State Police in response to a public records request from the Michigan Messenger. The statistics further reveal that the state’s youngest registered sex offenders are 9 years old. The state counts a total of 3,563 juvenile sex offenders on the registry, all of whom were adjudicated through the state’s juvenile court system.

All sex offenders in Michigan -– juveniles and adults alike -– face a minimum of 25 years on the state registry, along with requirements to check-in regularly with law enforcement and other restrictions. The maximum registration requirement is life.

While there are relatively few 9-12 year olds on the registry (145 cases adjudicated) there are many more registered teenage sex offenders age 13-17 (2,361 cases). See the complete breakdown by age here.

“It’s shocking,” said Shelli Weisberg, legislative director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Michigan, referring to the juvenile sex offender statistics. “I’m pretty surprised at the numbers. They’re bigger than I thought they would be.”

As of November, 45,164 Michigan residents were registered sex offenders, giving the state the distinction of having the second highest ratio of sex offenders of any state in the country. According to the state’s Sex Offender Registry Act, all violations of the state’s Criminal Sexual Conduct (CSC) laws -– not just rape or child molestation -– require the perpetrator to be on the sex offender list.

Most of the juvenile sex offenders are likely only listed on the private or “law enforcement-only” registry -– not the public online registry -– but they are still subject to the quarterly registration requirements. Further penalties loom if the registrant fails to check-in on time with law enforcement (arrest and imprisonment).

Under the provisions of the federal Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act that Michigan must comply with later this year, the state may have to do away with the private registry all together -– which could force most juvenile sex offenders onto the online registry for the duration of their registration requirements. “Under Adam Walsh, all those kids over 14 would be on the public registry,” said Weisberg. “Every single one of them.”

Moreover, critics of the state registry often point to the employment- and housing-denying stigma that accompanies extended punishment on the public registry long after consensual but underage sex, or other non-violent sex crimes, has triggered an offense.