UTAH: Utah sex offender registry updated.
December 8, 2000
SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- The Utah Department of Corrections
updated its sex offender database Thursday, adding information on
some 4,300 offenders to the online database.
The database includes photos, addresses, birth dates, aliases,
current vehicles and sex offense convictions on men and women
convicted of anything from misdemeanor lewdness to first-degree
Within the next month, Corrections officials expect to add details of
the offender's method of operation.
"What it's designed for is merely information so that the public can
access it more easily," said Jesse Gallegos, Corrections director of
community relations. "Prior to it being on the Web site, people were
calling the department. It just makes it much easier."
Utah law requires sex offenders to be listed on the database for 10
years after the end of their sentences. In August, the 10th U.S.
Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the Legislature's 1998 amendments
that made registry retroactive, adding those who completed their
sentences and probation prior to July 1998.
Since the court's ruling, Corrections officials had worked furiously to
update the Web site with information on all of Utah's sex offenders.
Prior to the ruling, just 400-plus sex offenders were on the registry.
"We have had 17 people sitting over computer terminals entering
data, and we have had as many as 200 Adult Probation and Parole
agents out looking for offenders who've refused to apply," said
Corrections spokesman Jack Ford. "There's 300 or 400 that we still
haven't got full pictures on."
Offenders who refuse to update their information could be charged
with a class A misdemeanor or, at the very least, a parole violation,
Corrections officials plan to update the registry at least twice a
But Ford said his office has been inundated with calls from groups
like the American Civil Liberties Union and family members of
offenders who are upset offender information is so easily available.
Some prisoner rights' groups have complained the registry will
hinder offenders who are trying to move on with their lives.
"I had one woman call me who said she didn't even know her
husband was a sex offender," Ford said.
Corrections officials acknowledge such registries in other states
have been used to harass sex offenders. Utah's site warns anyone
harassing offenders may be violating Utah law.
Ford said a separate database listing all convicted criminals in
Utah, their crimes and release dates should be up and running
sometime after the new year.
On the Net:
Utah Department of Corrections.
Source: The Daily Herald Online