Wednesday, May 25, 2005

National Sex Offender Registry Starting

Feds Choose Md. To Test Sexual Offender Registry
Four States Link Registries Via Internet In National Pilot Program
WBAL-TV - May 25, 2005

BALTIMORE -- Maryland will soon test a new high-tech AMBER Alert system.

The federal government chose four states to test an online national sex offender registry open to the public, WBAL-TV 11 News reported.

According to the governor's office, the initiative will link the preexisting state registries involved in the test. If the pilot program proves successful, authorities will link together via a search engine all sex offender registries nationwide.

The governor's office issued a statement Wednesday, in which the governor wrote: "This national online project gives parents and other concerned citizens real-time access to information that keeps our children safe"
The program would allow school districts, assisted-living facilities and other employers to immediately check whether a job applicant is a registered sex offender in another state.

In addition to Maryland, the U.S. Department of Justice selected Ohio, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
The Maryland Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services maintains Maryland's registry.
Additionally, Gov. Bob Ehrlich plans to sign four bills Thursday to strengthen Maryland’s sex offender registry. One of the bills requires child sex offenders to register annually with updated pictures.

Another bill expands release allowances for sexual offenders to include work release, home detention or community release.


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