Wednesday, August 21, 2002
Study Launched on Release of Offenders’ Home Addresses
By a MetNews Staff Writer
The Board of Supervisors yesterday unanimously approved a proposal by Supervisor Michael Antonovich to look into how other California jurisdictions release the home addresses of high-risk sex offenders.
There were nearly 18,000 registered sex offenders in Los Angeles County, with 255 of them termed high-risk offenders, as of May, a Sheriff’s Department spokesman said. California’s Megan’s Law requires convicted sex offenders to register with local law enforcement upon their release from prison or jail or completion of an alternative sentence.
High-risk offenders are those people have been convicted of multiple violent crimes, including at least one violent sex crime, and have been convicted of a crime within the last five years.
Residents can visit a Sheriff’s Department station to view a Megan’s Law terminal, which provides a sex offender’s name, known aliases, gender, race, physical description, photograph, date of birth, and the sex crimes they were convicted of, but give only the zip code of the offender’s home, not the person’s actual address.
California law prohibits the names of sex offenders from being posted on the Internet but local law enforcement agencies can release an offender’s home address if officials believe residents in the immediate area could be at risk.
Several dozen law enforcement agencies across the country use the Internet to provide detailed information about offenders in their jurisdiction, including the Chicago Police Department, which provides photographs, general information and the first two numbers in an offender’s registered street address along with the street name.
Certain sex offenders, usually convicted of misdemeanors, are not subject to public disclosure, even though they are still required to register.
Copyright 2002, Metropolitan News Company