How to Find Out if a Sex Offender Lives in Your Neighborhood
All sex offenders are required to register with the Department of Justice. A list of all registered sex offenders and their locations is available on the National Alert Registry.
Visit the Registry’s homepage and enter your zip code in the search bar. This will return the number of sex offenders in your area. You can pay a $10.00 fee for details on offenders along with maps, conviction information, home addresses, full names and aliases, and color photographs. You can also receive a free child ID kit to maintain important DNA samples to use if the unthinkable happens and your child goes missing. On this site, you can also sign up for e-mail alerts when offenders register in your area.
If you do not want to pay a fee but are interested in finding out about sex offenders in your area, you can also visit Family Watchdog, an independent organization that maintains a database of sex offenders with the information from the National Registry. You can enter your address and the database will return a map with locations of sex offenders’ home and workplaces. The map will also tell you if the offender was charged with rape or sexual battery.
On this map, you can click on the little colored dots that represent sex offenders and get a profile of the offender, with home address, description, convictions, and aliases. Sign up for free e-mail alerts as well.
When performing a search on either the National Registry or Family Watchdog, be sure to also search the location of your children’s school or any daycare center or other location your children frequent.
What to do if a sex offender lives in your area
Talk to your children about any sex offenders that live in your area. Make sure they avoid neighborhood events or locations where the sex offender could be present. Alert others in your area about the sex offender.
Contact your local law enforcement agency to ask questions about sex offenders in your neighborhood. There are laws that prohibit sex offenders from being too near schools, or handing out candy on Halloween. If you suspect that a sex offender in your area is violating these rules, call your local police immediately.
If there is a sex offender in your neighborhood, the best thing you can do is talk to your children and coordinate with your neighbors to keep each other safe. Have a plan of communication in case of trouble.