ATTORNEY GENERAL AND DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE ANNOUNCE NATIONAL
MEGAN'S LAW SEX OFFENDER WEB SITE
Trenton - New Jersey Attorney General Peter C. Harvey
today applauded the activation of a national Megan's Law sex
offender Web site that will enable parents and concerned citizens
throughout the U.S. to obtain sex offender information nationwide
with a single Internet search.
The New Jersey Attorney General's Office provided expert
assistance to the U.S. Department of Justice in developing
and implementing the national Web site, participating in a
four-state pilot project that led to the site's launch. The
National Sex Offender Public Registry (NSOPR), activated late
yesterday by the Department of Justice, provides online access
to existing state and territory sex offender registries through
the Web address www.nsopr.gov.
The ability to conduct a single Internet search for sex offender
information nationwide will enhance the ability of parents
to protect their children, particularly those who live near
state borders or who want to track a particular offender who
may have moved across state lines.
"New Jersey continues to serve as a leader nationally in
implementing Megan's Law and enhancing the protections it
provides for children," said Acting Governor Richard J. Codey.
"New Jersey's role as a pilot state in implementing this national
Web site is another example of our commitment to ensuring
that parents have the tools and the information they need
to protect their children from sex offenders."
"As a result of our collaboration with the U.S. Department
of Justice, sex offender information is now available to the
public throughout the United States through this national
site," said Attorney General Harvey. "Parents can now use
their personal computers to gain immediate access to information
on sex offenders that extends beyond the borders of their
home state. We are continuing to strive through initiatives
such as this to ensure that we fulfill the vital goal of Megan's
Law – informing parents about the danger of sex offenders
their children may encounter."
The U.S. Department of Justice requested New Jersey's assistance
because it recognized the national leadership role that the
New Jersey Attorney General's Office has assumed both in drafting
and implementing Megan's Law and in developing law enforcement
technology. The Attorney General's Office and Division of
State Police provided technical and other assistance to the
Department of Justice. The three other pilot states were Pennsylvania,
Ohio and Maryland.
"We live in a highly mobile and technologically advanced
society in which we all enjoy a great deal of freedom. But
this freedom means we must be diligent to protect our citizens
from sexual predators who frequently use the Internet and
travel throughout the country," said Colonel Rick Fuentes,
Superintendent of the New Jersey State Police. "I'm proud
of the work our experts have done to help bring about this
national sex offender registry, and I hope people everywhere
will use every tool available to protect the ones they love."
Members of the New Jersey State Police Identification and
Information Technology Section and the New Jersey Office of
Information Technology helped to test and refine the NSOPR
as participants in the pilot program. The site allows data
from the different systems used by existing online registries
to be recognized and accessed through a single national search.
It allows parents and other concerned citizens to conduct
searches free of charge across all of the available sex offender
registries and obtain results through queries using a sex
offender's name, county, town or zip code.
The NSOPR currently links to 22 sites including the District
of Columbia and the following states: New Jersey, Arizona,
Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Kansas,
Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, Nebraska, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania,
Rhode Island, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia and Wisconsin.
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