Friday, September 13, 2013

Online Tools to Discover Where Sexual Predators and Criminals Live in Your Neighborhood

Parents, teachers and other guardians who are concerned about the safety of their children can often reduce the risks their children face by educating themselves as to where sexual predators and criminals reside in their neighborhoods. Registered sex offenders are listed in a national and/or state database, available to the public online, as well as on criminal background check websites. Listings usually include their full name and home address, letting parents type in their zip code and find out which homes in their neighborhood conceal potential threats to their children. Here are several online tools that can be used to search for sexual predators in your area.

Family Watchdog: Family Watchdog maintains that “awareness is your best defense.” Users can search multiple states at once if they want to search by location. The site also lets users search by name if they are trying to track down a particular offender. In addition, this site posts information about food and drug recalls and product recalls. Search by name or zip code at to find registered sex offenders in all 50 states plus the District of Columbia. If users search by zip code, they can view a map of their area that pinpoints the exact location of sex offenders. This site gives a history of sex offender laws in addition to providing a comprehensive search. Users who suspect their neighbor of being a sex offender can type in their name or address to find out if they are listed. Otherwise, users can search by zip code or city.

National and Governmental Sites
These websites are organized by national and/or governmental agencies, making your search more official.

National Alert Registry The motto of the National Alert Registry is to “be aware, be alert, be safe.” Currently, the registry includes over 500,000 listings that include names, addresses and even photos of the sex offenders. Users can register their neighborhood or area of interest with the registry to receive RED ALERTs by e-mail whenever a new name is added.

Megan’s Law Nationwide Registries and Links: This page features a Megan’s Law Report Card, which grades states on how accessible they make sexual predator information to the public and on the number of registrants vs. the number of actual offenders. The site also displays links to sex offender registries by state and provides users with an easy way to report child pornography.

Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Registry: This website is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Justice and lets users search for violent sex offenders who may prey on adults as well as children. There is also a search for general sex offenders who have a criminal past with minors. Users can search by region, state, zip code, name or conduct a nationwide search.


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