Oklahoma now connected to the National Sex Offenders Public Registry

Monday, October 10th 2005, 10:54 am
By: News On 6

Oklahomans now have an instant link to information about sex offenders across the country.

Oklahoma has now been added to the National Sex Offender Public Registry. It's a database run by the US Department of Justice. So when registered sex offenders move across state lines, their past comes with them.

News on 6 reporter Heather Lewin says with more than 500,000 registered sex offenders nationwide, federal officials say it's essential for citizens to be able to identify sex offenders beyond their own neighborhoods.

The website allows anyone to search by name, city, or zip code in specific states or across the country. It's information that can be used to decide the best place to live when you move to a new state or to learn more about the records of sex offenders who committed their crimes elsewhere and may have moved here without revealing their past.

Law enforcement cannot guarantee offenders' information on the site is current. Habitual and aggravated offenders, those with the most serious crimes, are required to report their whereabouts every 90-days, but they don't always check in, sending police out looking.

Officials say the site at least gives the public a chance to be better informed. 32 states, the District of Columbia and one territory are currently on the list, the rest of the country is expected to be added by the end of the year.

You can find the database at www.nsopr.org.