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Sex offenders incognito

The Georgia sex offender registry was created to help keep people safe. But how can it do that if it's riddled with errors?



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TAO adds that the stigma of being on the list, including the inability to get a job or even find a place to move, causes many offenders to withhold accurate information and run the risk of getting caught.

"The law does not engage some unholy force field that pushes each offender directly into the sheriff's office and forces them to give their true information," TAO says. "Enforcement is a very heavily ignored."

It is obvious that several solutions are needed if the registry is to be a viable tool for concerned parents and a deterrent to sex offenders.

One solution is for state and county experts to study the various county systems and come up with a comprehensive system that the GBI can implement statewide.

Extending the technology employed by Cobb and DeKalb counties statewide carries a cost of about $400,000 per year. Unfortunately, the GBI has protested such a move, even though the state's premier law enforcement agency can't handle the load it already has.

The GBI has applied for federal funds to revamp the system, but federal budget cuts (atop state cutbacks) have left the agency staring at a blinking cursor. In the meantime, about 150 new sex offenders are added to the registry each month — with no good way to track them.

Randy Wyles is published author, executive editor of and a senior investigator for Hunter Investigations LLC, located in Alpharetta. He has worked with local law enforcement as well as under contract to the U.S. Department of Justice.

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