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Search Sex Offender Registries by State

Sex offender registries are systems put in place by individual state and county jurisdictions that are designed to allow government authorities as well as citizens track the residences of sex offenders, including those who have already served their sentences.  These registries are often made available to the public via a website or publication allowing citizens of a community to be aware of sex offenders and/or child predators may be living. 

In some jurisdictions, sex offenders may have specific restrictions placed on where they are allowed to live.  Depending on the area, sex offenders may not be allowed to live near a school district or other area where children play or attend classes.  Other areas that may be restricted to sex offenders include stadiums, malls, stores, shopping centers, specific neighborhoods, churches, parks or apartments.  They may also be subject to specific travel laws as well as the TSA's No Fly list.  If the offender changes residences, they are required to report and register their new address.  There are penalties for individuals who do not register and who do not maintain residence information.

Depending on the locality, the complete list of sex offenders in an area may not be open to the public.  Many jurisdictions will report only specific levels of sex offenders with Level III offenders being the most publicized.  There are three levels of sex offenders including:

  • Level I - Low risk to reoffend
  • Level II - Moderate risk to reoffend
  • Level III - High risk to reoffend
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  Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act

The Wetterling Act requires states to implement a registry for sex offenders and crimes against children.  The act requires that states also form more rigorous registration requirements for sex offenders and they must verify addresses of sex offenders each year for at least 10 years.  Those who are classified to be sexually violent predators, they must verify their addresses quarterly for life.  Under the Wetterling Act, the states had the option of publicly disseminating this information, but it was not required.

The Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act

This act organizes sex offenders into three tiers. Individuals who are Tier 3, or Level III, sex offenders are required to update their addresses every 3 months.  Failure to register or update is a felony.  The act also created a national sex offender registry and instructs each state to supply information on the Internet including the offender's name, address, date of birth, place of employment and photograph.

Megan's Law

Megan's Law was passed in New Jersey in 1994 after Megan Kanka was raped and murdered.  The parents of Megan believed that they should have had the right to know if a sexual predator moves into the neighborhood.  Megan's Law requires that the local police department notify any change of address after an offender convicted of sexual assault is released from prison.  Megan's Law is an amendment to the Jacob Wetterling Act.

Amber Alert Plan

The Amber Alert System stands for America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response and was begun in 1997 in Dthe Dallas-Fort Worth area with a team of broadcasters and local police who developed an early warning system to help find children who have been abducted quickly.  The alert system is used to alert the public by television and radio in the event of an Amber Alert.  The system was created after 9 year old Amber Hagerman was kidnapped while riding her bike in Arlington, Texas and was found murdered.  46 of 50 state have implemented their own Amber Alert plans.


 
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