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In the United States, over 750,000 people are registered as sex offenders. Unfortunately, this number continues to rise according to the statistics. The National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) is an online registry that shows a list of all convicted offenders in every state, territory, and tribal area in the U.S. Keep reading to learn more about what a sex offender registry is and what you need to know to keep your family safe.

What Is a Sex Offender Registry?

A sex offender registry refers to a list of all convicted sex offenders in a state. If you would like to search through the national records, visit the NSOPW. In general, these registries include relevant information, such as the sex offender’s address, what they look like, and their criminal history. If certain information is unavailable, it will be listed as unknown. 

Who Is Required to Register?

Anyone convicted of specific sex crimes must register, which is required in all fifty states. If the individual is convicted of a more serious or violent crime, this usually means they will have to stay registered for a longer time and have to update their address on a more frequent basis. 

What Happens to Those That Do Not Register?

For those that fail to register as a sex offender, this is a federal offense. Unfortunately, there are cases where individuals do not register or keep their personal information updated per their conviction. If an unregistered offender is convicted of a new federal crime, this can add 30 years to their sentence.

Keep Your Family Safe

While it would be nice, the reality is that you cannot control who lives in or near your neighborhood. If you find out that a registered sex offender lives near your family, there are tips you can follow to keep your loved one’s safe.

  • Talk with your kids about being safe around strangers and following their gut instincts when someone or something gives them an “uh-oh” feeling.
  • Explain to your kids why it’s important to stay away from registered sex offenders. It’s a good idea to be specific about what to do or not do. For example, if they see an offender in the neighborhood or at a store, ask your child to stay near you. Or if they are playing outside, tell them to come straight home.
  • Remind your kids to play it safe. If a stranger asks your kid for “help” or offers them a treat, tell your kid to say no and return home as quickly as possible. 
  • Know your state’s rules about sex offenders. Oftentimes, sex offenders have strict rules on where they can live and where they can work. The most common restrictions are not being allowed to legally live near any school or daycare. 
  • Report any suspicious behavior to your local law enforcement. 

These registries play a key role in helping individuals and families stay informed on where registered sex offenders live in their area. Whether you are hiring someone for a new job or renting out your property, it’s essential to run a background check on this person. This key information will give you a big picture of their trustworthiness and whether they have a criminal past. At PATRIOT Backgrounds and Investigations in Davie, FL, all of our background checks include sex offender checks and much more.