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Yet another reason I'm so grateful I don't have kids

With the increased awareness of sexual predators out there, and the mandatory registering and reporting going on, it's become a lot easier to find out just how many of these scum live around you. And with the explosion of information going on, especially through the internet, this development was, in retrospect, inevitable...

And terrifying.

Just plug in your address (or, for that matter, any address) and, if your state is one of the 37 states and DC that put the information online) and you can get a map showing you the location of all the sex offenders within a certain radius (which appears to be about one mile). Click on the "pin" indicating them, and you get their address and a mug shot (at least for New Hampshire), as well as a link giving more details as to their offense.

Just for grins, I plugged in my own address (deep in the heart of the 'hood of Manchester, NH) and started counting. I lost count at 75 -- including one right next door, and another across the street and a couple buildings down. My best friend, who has an eight-year-old stepdaughter, has maybe five, and none within half a mile.

The backers of the site hope to have another seven states added by the end of the year, and two more by next July. The only problem states are Pennsylvania (where only sexually violent predators are required to register, as opposed to all sex offenders), and three states that don't require sex offenders to register -- South Dakota, Utah, and Vermont.
Of course, this being such an incredibly useful tool for parents to protect their children against established predators, one should expect the ACLU to act soon to shut it down.


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Comments (15)

The only problem I have wit... (Below threshold)

The only problem I have with this type of database is the lack of any uniform standards of registration. There are a variety of offenses that require registration, and not all necessarily pose a risk to society. For instance, a person prosecuted for statutory rape may be classified as a sex offender, but there's a vast difference between a 45 year-old seducing a 13 year-old and a 19 year-old getting pinned down by the angry parents of his 16 year-old girlfriend, even though the same charge may be used. There should be a "risk level" associated with the listings that are more clear than simply listing their offenses. That, however, gets into details of the case that groups like the ACLU would fight tooth-and-nail to keep concealed.

The other thing that needs to be eliminated at the federal level is the practice of "plea bargaining" down to an unrelated charge, such as pleading guilty to "unlawful entry" or a similar charge to avoid mandatory registration. This has gone on for years, and there should be some effort towards eradicating that option.

Meh, I can't do a search be... (Below threshold)

Meh, I can't do a search because I live in jolly old PA.

I have a sex offender livin... (Below threshold)

I have a sex offender living 2 houses from me, according to my area map. The problem is, the system doesn't give enough identifying information. This could be a person who flashed at Mardi Gras, or it could be someone who carries out his attacks at gunpoint. I'd like to know more than the tiny bit I'm given.

It sounds great to "give pa... (Below threshold)
MaxiBob:

It sounds great to "give parents tools", but consider how inaccurate this list of offenders is in actually telling you who did what. Someone caught peeing in public could end up on this list if confronted with an angry cop and he uses a lazy lawyer. The sad fact is lawyers and cops want to do the minimal amount of work, for the maximum pay too. As mentioned above, a good plea bargain will get the creep convicted of a crime with no registration. There are millions who committed crimes who were not caught and convicted.

I guess parents are asked to allow their teen daughters to walk around town talking to 40 year olds, except those who are on "the list".

Chicken Little - I clicked... (Below threshold)
KevinH:

Chicken Little - I clicked on one of the names represented by a marker and was given details of the offenses as well as a picture. The information was quite detailed as far as I was concerned.

I wish we had something like this in Canada....

And in the spirit of open, ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

And in the spirit of open, public communications your identity is provided to each sexoffenders you check up on.

or not.

"The only problem states ar... (Below threshold)
Ken:

"The only problem states are Pennsylvania (where only sexually violent predators are required to register, as opposed to all sex offenders), "

Sounds like a feature to me. More signal, less noise.

And in the spirit of ope... (Below threshold)

And in the spirit of open, public communications your identity is provided to each sexoffenders you check up on.

I await with interest your justification as to why they would be entitled to this information.

Hint: "the spirit of open, public communications" doesn't cut it.

I think Rodney was kidding.... (Below threshold)

I think Rodney was kidding.

He does that from time to time, so it isn't entirely out of character.

I've "known" Rodney for som... (Below threshold)
Jay Tea:

I've "known" Rodney for some time. He was one of the "original 8" guest-posters around here, of whom Paul and I are the only two who didn't move on to other gigs. I'm 99% certain he was being facetious.

The other 1% represents the chance someone else was using his name.

J.

We have a choice between li... (Below threshold)
Synova:

We have a choice between liberty and safety. We don't get to have both. I'm sorry for that, but I chose liberty.

I *do* have children and quite frankly, I don't trust *anyone*. The people I've known who have been abused have been abused strictly by people in positions of trust. Not strangers. Who should I guard against? The registered sex offender down the street (who in RL turned out to be that guy who murdered a mother and step-father, the son, and was found later with the daughter in Montana, IIRC) or the school teacher? Huh? Who, rationally, logically, is more likely to abuse my child? It's the school teacher, folks. The murderer is scarier by far, but it is still *more likely* and not just a little bit more likely, that it will be other children or teens or else an adult in a position of trust... and guarding against those unknown threats is going to make my kids safer, even from the registered sex offender down the street, than doing what I can to make that guy's life a living hell.

This harassment of sex offenders is a witch-hunt sort of mentality... the guys with torches and pitchforks on their way to the monster's lair... it's a bad thing.

This is not "an incredibly useful tool" for parents to protect their children and the ACLU *should* object... unless you're claiming that convicted criminals no longer share constitutional protections.

It's certainly a convenient... (Below threshold)

It's certainly a convenient presentation. Sex offenders have been registered for years and years, but it wasn't until the information was put online that it became really practical for people to use it.

Personally I think the fears of sexual predators are overblown. Living in constant fear and keeping your kids scared to death of strangers is not healthy.

I also have doubts about the accuracy of the registries. I'm sure the people who maintain them do their best, but huge beauracracies aren't infallible. When access was pretty much limited to law enforcement and the occasional concerned parent errors could be check, accounted for and corrected, hopefully before someone's good name was ruined. I'm not so sure that the corrective mechanism has kept pace with today's wider distribution.

If the ACLU tries to shut t... (Below threshold)
BodaciousCowboy:

If the ACLU tries to shut this site down, I will glady pay for hosting fees at Sealand out of my own pocket.

Why the shot at the ACLU? I... (Below threshold)
RightWingLiberal:

Why the shot at the ACLU? I have never understood some of the right's anger over the ACLU. The Constitution and the Bill of Rights are worth fighting for and that's why I think the ACLU does good work. Even if I don't agree with their particular stance on some specific issues. Fighting for civil liberties is a good thing.

Tell the truth about child ... (Below threshold)
randy:

Tell the truth about child molesters or you to afraid of the liberals that will go after you Don't be afraid do what is right for the country and the children. the fact is the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, liberal bed-wetters cause these problems in our society to day and it started with the gays. Look back in history, gays where persecuted, ridacuted and put to shame and even imprisoned before we where even a country.People felt that gay acts and being gay was amoral and now they feel that it's ok because the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, liberal bed-wetters started whining that the gays have rights.In some states it is legal for gays to get married, and it's ok for them to adopt children. The words you are speaking are the same words that was spoking in the past about gays. So keep hammering on these people and you will have the terminally whiny, guilt ridden, delusional, liberal bed-wetters repeating history.Albert Einstein wrote, "The problems that exist in the world today can not be solved by the level of thinking that created them.most Americans or in denial or, simply shut their eyes from seeing The truth. Those that do see are cowering in the dark, knowing full well what awaits them if they speak out. A few are speaking out, but only a few, Americans may be able to hear them during a commercial break, while watching another inane sitcom or perhaps another sports extravaganza. That is provided, they aren’t doped up or drunk to see The truth.

I am not a racist or anything like that this is the truth and if you or going to maeck comments about society and it's problems at least Tell the truth about how the break down in or society began




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