COVINGTON, La. (Oct. 27, 2020) – While families go trick-or-treating this weekend, do they know whose door they’re knocking on? Every home may not be safe: There are nearly 900,000 registered sex offenders in the United States, many convicted of crimes against minors. About 80 percent of homes in America have a registered sex offender living within one mile of their address.
Before trick-or-treating this season, sheriff’s offices and police departments advise parents to check their local sex offender registry. OffenderWatch, the nation’s leader in sex offender registry management, shares tips on reading and understanding sex offender registries. All registering law enforcement agencies in Louisiana use OffenderWatch to manage their sex offender registries.
OffenderWatch partners with law enforcement nationwide to provide technical solutions and a network for managing sex offender registries. With more than 3,000 law enforcement agencies using OffenderWatch, Americans conduct more than 1 million searches on OffenderWatch sex offender registry maps per week.
“We want parents to have the information families need to have a safe Halloween,” said Mike Cormaci, president and co-founder of OffenderWatch. “We’ve partnered with law enforcement across the country for more than 20 years, helping to improve the sex offender registry and making it easier for both law enforcement and the public to use.”
Tips for Finding and Understanding Your Sex Offender Registry
Use a sex offender registry published by law enforcement. Not all registries are created equal: There are many third-party websites that publish outdated sex offender data, claiming its accuracy. Parents and guardians should only trust data provided through local law enforcement.
**To find your local registry in Louisiana, visit https://offenderwatch.com/national-sex-offender-registry.**
Use the map/geographical feature to find offenders in your area. While viewing your county or city’s sex offender registry, input your home address or the address where you’ll be trick-or-treating to view a map of offenders in that area. Print out the map with addresses to take with you.
Understand the difference between offender risk level and tiers in your state. Every state identifies sex offenders differently, segmenting offenses with risk levels and tiers. Visit your state website to find a list of offenses, risk levels and descriptions.
Talk to your children. If sex offenders live in your neighborhood, point out their house to your children and explain the offender has a criminal record. Tell your children to let you know if the sex offender tries to talk to them or lure them inside. Read more on how to talk to your children about sex offenders.
Stay tuned for the free OffenderWatch app. OffenderWatch Safe Virtual Neighborhood is a free app partnered with law enforcement to inform families on registered sex offenders. When the updated app is released this fall, parents can find sex offenders near them, track their children while they are trick-or-treating and receive updates from law enforcement. With a subscription, parents will also receive a notification if a registered sex offender contacts their child through text, email, phone calls or if their child lingers near an offender’s home.
Stay tuned for the free app by visiting http://www.offenderwatch.com/svn.