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Monday, July 8, 2013

The U.S. Sex Offender Database & Update on California's Megan's Law

For those not familiar with California's Megan's Law, here is a brief description. This law makes it mandatory for sex offenders to register with the state and makes this information available to the general public. It allows citizens to  look up sex offenders by geographical locations, cities, neighborhoods, etc.

"Megan's Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known registered sex offender who had moved across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kankas sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area. All states now have a form of Megan's Law." (Source: http://www.meganslaw.ca.gov/homepage.aspx?lang=ENGLISH)

However, there is a new update regarding California's Megan Law (and I wasn't aware of it--just stumbled upon it recently). As of July 7, 2013, there were over 41,000 registered sex offenders in the state of California that list a full address.

This excerpt is taken from the State of California Department of Justice's website:

"ATTENTION: FEDERAL COURT ENJOINS COLLECTION OF E-MAIL AND SOCIAL NETWORKING INFORMATION ON REGISTRATION FORMS. 

On January 11, 2013, a federal court enjoined the Attorney General and law enforcement agencies from collecting information pertaining to e-mail addresses, internet service providers, and social networking/screen names on sex offender registration forms. These fields will not appear on the 2013 DOJ registration forms (DOJ forms 8047, 8102) which are about to be released. This injunction is in effect until the lawsuit challenging these provisions of Proposition 35, the Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (CASE) Act, is decided or until further notice. (John Doe v. Kamala Harris, Northern District of California No. C12-5713 TEH). Registering law enforcement agencies should black out these fields on the 2012 forms, and should not collect this information until further notice 

ATTENTION: Beginning January 1, 2013, the Department of Justice is required by law to post static risk assessment scores for sex offender registrants who are eligible to be scored (Penal Code § 290.03-290.09). For information relating to risk assessments, eligibility, and scoring, please visit the State Authorized Risk Assessment Tool for Sex Offenders (SARATSO) Web site at www.saratso.org



If you haven't used the sex offender database search and are leery of who's hanging out in your neighborhood, check out the U.S. Department of Justice's NSOPW sex offender database system to search for sex offenders in your community. 






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