The Leading Sex Offender Registry Network Provides Tips for Families to Keep Kids Safe
Sex offender registries play an important role in helping to keep children safe. Across the nation, sheriffs and other law enforcement agencies use the OffenderWatch software to effectively manage, track and communicate sex offender information across agencies and to the public.
The OffenderWatch network connects most agencies nationwide in a collaborative environment to share and communicate real-time data on convicted sex offenders in the community. Publicly shared registry information is a critical tool for parents and the community to be aware of where sex offenders live and work in relation to bus stops, parks, schools, and other places where children may be present.
Sheriff and police departments have checked and verified thousands of offenders’ home addresses, updated their websites and sent out hundreds of thousands of email notifications and post cards to the public outlining offender addresses changes. These agencies maintain real-time, verified offender data on their websites. On average, a typical state has over 50,000 changes and address modifications to the registry annually. Other indirect sources that purport to provide offender information cannot provide the same level of accuracy as the law enforcement agency itself.
Now that kids are heading back to the classroom, parents are encouraged to check with their local sheriffs’ offices for the most comprehensive, complete and accurate information on sex offenders available, including photos and conviction information. Local agencies also send email notifications to the public about sex offender moves. Sign up with your sheriff or police department to receive automated updates via email when any offender moves into your geographic area.
Follow these tips to become more informed about sex offenders in your neighborhood and learn how to talk to your children about the dangers of sexual abuse.
Tips for Safety from Registered Sex Offenders
- Trust Sex Offender Information Coming Directly from Law Enforcement – While there are many services online purporting to offer information on registered sex offenders, citizens should only trust information provided by their local sheriff’s office, police department or the state website. These agencies have the most up-to-date and accurate information available. Citizens can search for offenders, see a map of offenders near them, or directly submit a tip to law enforcement about an offender.
- Sign Up to Receive Email Alerts When Offenders Move Into Your Neighborhood – Sign up to receive notifications from law enforcement when a registered sex offender moves into your neighborhood, near your work or other address.
- Show Your Child Photos of Sex Offenders In Your Neighborhood – If you have young children, consider showing them a photo of registered sex offenders in your neighborhood and talking to them about the dangers of abuse.
- Have a Conversation With Your Child – Talk to your child about threats from criminals. Avoid scary details. Speak in general terms using the using language that is honest and age appropriate. If your child could possibly have contact with a registered sex offender, show your child the sex offender’s photo. Be calm and instruct your child to avoid contact with the person or being near the offender’s residence or workplace.
- More info: Talking to Children About Sex Offenders