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Saturday, May 26, 2007

define "tool"

The Forsyth County Sheriff's Office has an email notification program that automatically emails neighbors who've signed up when a sex offender moves to an address within one mile of them.

See slideshow presentation explaining why

But what the notification program doesn't do is say which offenders are really awful and which were nineteen year olds with fifteen year old girlfriends. I understand that for liability reasons, they can't say, "Look, this guy really isn't as dangerous as that guy," but I do think there should be some way of disseminating additional information so that those receiving the emails can decide for themselves how to view the notification.

They don't tell you when the offenses occurred or link you to legal definitions, so that the one offender within a mile of our house, who committed "14-202.1 - Taking Indecent Liberties with Children" sounds scary as all, but for all anyone knows this is the nineteen year old and his fifteen year old girlfriend scenario, even though the offender is now in his forties. It's just impossible for the casual subscriber to know how valuable or not the information is.

Sign up for notifications here
Search for sex offenders within one mile of an address or in Forsyth County here

So a while ago, I took the above information, the man in his forties, over to the NC DOC Public Access Information System and found out this offense occurred ten years ago, when the man was in his thirties, so clearly it is not a nineten year old/fifteen year old situation, but what exactly is it? Because the sentence handed down was probation/parole, a suspended sentence of 60 months, and registering as a sex offender.

Did he harm a child or not? Is this someone I need to be concerned about or not? This is what I'm saying - the notification of neighbors process needs to be overhauled. As it is now, it leaves more questions than answers.
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