STOP SEX OFFENDERS | IN: New system puts info totally in hands of sheriff's departments.
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IN: New system puts info totally in hands of sheriff's departments.

June 1, 2002

A statewide online directory of newly-convicted sex offenders is expected to increase accuracy and timeliness of Indiana's current paper directory.

Beginning Jan. 1, a new web site controlled by the Indiana Sheriff's Association, will combine offender information collected from county sheriff's departments statewide.

Offenders who have been convicted of rape, criminal deviate conduct, child molesting and exploitation, vicarious sexual gratification, child solicitation and seduction, sexual battery, sexual misconduct with a minor, incest, kidnapping or criminal confinement following the active date of the new registry must register.

Besides a color digital image of the convicted sex offender, the database will include the name, age, date of birth, race, gender, conviction date, social security number, sentence, jail release date, the name of the county where the offender lives and the county where the crime occurred. A physical description will also be available including height, weight and eye color of the pictured offender.

"Indiana is on the leading edge with this web site," Jay County Sheriff's Department Chief Deputy Kip Robinette said. "Some people feel intimidated coming to the jail (to check the directory), but now a lot of people have computer access and will feel less intimidated to look up the information (on the web site)."

The online directory is one amendment to the sex offender registry law reviewed by the ISA and the Indiana Association of Chiefs of Police at a recent seminar that Robinette attended.

Beginning in January, offenders will no longer register at city police departments, only the county sheriff's departments.

...The digital photographs will be imported by software purchased and developed by the ISA for the county departments.

The information can be uploaded directly onto the web site, e-mailed or saved on a CD-ROM disc and sent to the association to be uploaded.

The Internet address for the web site has not been created, Eslinger said. The ISA is hoping to have all 92 counties ready to send data by the January deadline.

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Source: 2002 Portland Commercial Review