Reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) now put the number of registered sex offenders in the U.S. at 716,000. That’s a 78 percent increase since 2001. And it doesn’t include sex-related offenders, as not all crimes require registration.
States and local communities, strapped for cash, are being forced to make cutbacks in law enforcement and probation departments, making it more difficult to track offenders once they are released from prison.
“State and local governments are doing the best they can, but without standards and funding from the federal government they are fighting a losing battle,” said Patrick Fiel, public safety advisor for ADT Security Services.
He said predators stalk their prey at places where (depending upon the state laws) they can’t be denied entry to such places as movie theaters, malls, parks, playgrounds and zoos. One way to keep an eye on them is to fit them with ankle bracelets and then contract with a national security provider to monitor their comings and goings throughout the day.
“But that’s going to take funding from the federal government,” Fiel said. “Parents and organizations such as NCMEC need to help make this a national priority.”
-- PSW staff