The Department of Justice has announced it will fast-track development and delivery of a national sex offender registry Website where citizens can search public state and territory sex offender lists. The site will provide parents and other concerned citizens with immediate, free access to sex offender information beyond their own streets or states, all from a single search.
"I see the powerful value of the right information being available at the right time to prevent many crimes from ever taking place," said Tracy Henke, Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Office of Justice Programs in a press release. "Real-time access to public registry information can offer parents, grandparents, and concerned citizens the ability to protect children by identifying sex offenders nationwide through a single search from their home computer, or even a local library with Internet access."
Justice officials say they hope to have the first phase of the National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR) online within 60 days, featuring access to offender registries from at least 20 states.
According the the Justice Department, the technology for NSOPR is both time- and cost-effective. Web services and the Department of Justice's Global Justice eXtensible Markup Language (XML) common computer language will establish a link between existing state and territory public sex offender registries. The link then allows data from different hardware and software systems to be recognized and shown through the national search site. The search will deliver results based on a name, zip code, geographical area, or other query.
The Department of Justice will work with states and territories to link their public registries, at no cost, to the national search site. NSOPR will provide an opportunity for all states and territories to participate in an unprecedented public safety resource by sharing comprehensive, free-of-charge public sex offender data with citizens nationwide.