What is a sex offender map?
offender map is a simple tool provided by state and federal agencies so that
citizens can easily find the location of registered sex offenders in their community. The mapping system involved in most websites
involves an overhead view, similar to that of Google maps. By typing in either the location that you are
in or the names of any known registered sex offenders a sex offender map will
pinpoint the location of those registered with the state to be sex offenders.
What will I find of the map?
By law every
individual convicted of a sex offense must register with their local law
enforcement. However, there are
different levels of sex offenders and only those most likely to be repeat
offenders will be found on the map. This
is society’s way of saying that, when there is a low risk of being a repeat
offender, the intrusion into the personal life of the sex offender greatly
outweighs the benefit to the public. The
forms of sex offense that are usually not found on a sex offender map are
statutory rape, when the sex offender is 19 and the victim is 17, for example.
Is it free to use a sex offender map?
offender map that is supplied by the states and many watchdog associations is strictly
free of charge. Specifically,
www.familywatchdog.us has an excellent mapping system that not only pinpoints
the location of sex offenders in the community but also uses color coding to
designate the specific type of sex offense that that individual was convicted
How complete are the maps?
The maps are
very complete; however, they do rely on government information in order to be
complete. For example, if a sex offender
does not register his location will not be found on a map. In addition, the system does not move as
quickly as one would like and often times, due to the clogging of information,
a registered sex offenders new location will not be found on a map for a period
of days and sometimes weeks.
offenders are also only required to register for a specific period of
time. This period of time is designated
by state statute. For example, the state
of Pennsylvania has a minimum requirement of 10 years of registry whereas some
other states have that minimum period set at 20 years. For that reason you may find a sex offender
who was convicted of a sex offense 15 years ago on one map but on his
relocation to Pennsylvania he would no longer be on the map. Those individuals convicted of serious sex
offenses and those considered by courts to be “sexual predators” are
required to register for their entire lifetimes. In these situations you will always be able
to find them on a map.