With Halloween almost here, people concerned about medium- and high-risk sex offenders living in their neighborhoods, next to their workplaces or near their children’s schools can now access information on Facebook with just a few clicks and without leaving the popular social networking site.
The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) has launched its Sex Offender Locator Application, which is accessible via the New York State Public Safety Facebook page at www.facebook.com/nyspublicsafety. Once there, you will find the New York State Sex Offender Locator link on the left of the page. Or you may go directly to it at http://www.facebook.com/NYSPublicSafety?sk=app_244298272262448
Facebook users also can share the application to their own pages and encourage their friends to do the same.
DCJS maintains the state’s sex offender registry and a registry subdirectory on the agency’s website, www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor, which provides information about Level 2 (medium risk) and Level 3 (high risk) sex offenders to the public. The new Facebook application is designed to make that information more readily accessible.
DCJS Acting Commissioner Sean M. Byrne said, “With Halloween around the corner, parents now have another tool to learn where offenders live so they can ensure their children stay away from those locations, as well as strangers’ homes. The Facebook app puts that important information at parents’ fingertips, whether they are at home or on the go.”
As of this week, there are 32,994 registered sex offenders on the state’s Sex Offender Registry: 12,473 Level 1 offenders; 11,685 Level 2 offenders; 8,163 Level 3 offenders; and 673 offenders whose risk level is pending. County-by-county statistics are at http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/stats_by_county.htm.
New Yorkers can learn about registered sex offenders in a variety of ways, with an offender’s risk level determining what information is available and how it can be accessed. By law, the state can only provide information about Level 1 (low risk) offenders or those with a pending risk level through a toll-free number (1-800-262-3257); callers must have an individual’s name and at least one other identifier (an exact address, date of birth, driver’s license number or Social Security number) to learn if that person is a registered sex offender in New York.
Home address information about a Level 1 offender is limited to zip code. Complete home and work addresses – street number and name, as well as municipality and zip code – are available for Level 2 and Level 3 offenders.
In addition to providing information about Level 2 and 3 offenders via Facebook and the DCJS website, the state allows New Yorkers to sign up to receive alerts via e-mail, text, fax or telephone whenever those sex offenders move to, or from, a community of interest – their home, work or child’s school, for example. DCJS offers the sex offender relocation notices through the state’s NY-ALERT system; visit www.nyalert.gov and click on the “Sign up for NY-Alerts” link in the left menu to learn more and register.
Individuals can register up to three locations, either by county/municipality, zip code or specific address, or any combination of those three options, for which they would like to receive relocation alerts. More than 12,000 individuals have registered to receive e-alerts since the system went live on March 15, 2010.