Friday, July 6, 2012

How to Look Up Sex Offenders

How to Look Up Sex OffendersThe issue of sex offenders is quite a sensitive one. If you are worried that they might be some offenders living in your neighborhood, then the following article will tell you how you can identify them.

If you interested in ways of how to lookup sex offenders, then get some answers from the paragraphs below. The issue of sex offenders has been so serious that over the years a series of laws have been passed that have made it quite simple to know the identities of these people and where they are. It all started in 1996 when a law that required the states to have sites which carried registered details about sex offenders. These sites still exist today and are searchable according to location.

This only served only as a deterrent for a while and offenders where at it again. Repeated public outcries and protests forced congress to take sterner measures. As of 2008 in addition to the states being required to have these sites, it is now the duty of every offender to make sure he registers himself on the list. Not doing so is now a criminal offence and so they are forced to register.

They are required to provide their current place of address so this means you can find out where they are. In fact the situation is now so serious they are required to update their information every three months, they are supposed to post their real photos, dates of birth and places of employment. If you wanted to know how to lookup sex offenders, I'm sure you realize that it is quite simple.

The options you have on how to lookup sex offenders is to either use the National Registry for offenders or to get the information from some of the sites that have this information in their databases.

Sex Offenders at Your Company? It's Time to Take Back Our Hiring Process From the Legislators

Sex Offenders at Your Company? It's Time to Take Back Our Hiring Process From the LegislatorsThe February 2010 rape and murder of 17 year-old Chelsea King in San Diego, at the hands of a convicted sex offender, reminds us all of the fragility of life. She was alive and vibrant one afternoon, and dead by nightfall, all because of a man who should still be in prison for his previous sexual assault and beating of a 13 year-old.

As of December 2004, anyone in California with access to a computer can go online to the Megan's Law web site. This ability, of course, follows the legislative responses to the rape and murder of seven year-old New Jersey girl Megan Kanka, and a national series of horrific, tragic, and life-altering sexually-oriented crimes, where sexual predators assaulted and/or killed the children and adults who were unlucky enough to cross their paths.

All states have their own versions of our Megan's Law databases, all created with the intention of helping people recognize or identify those men who have been convicted of certain sexually-related criminal offenses. (It's no surprise women are hugely underrepresented as sexual predators, for various protective, behavioral, and biological reasons.)

California, being one of the leaders in deviance and deviant behavior, has not been registering sex offenders for very long; only since 1947. (Add your own thoughts here, if you are pleased or surprised that we have been keeping track of sex offenders for over 60 years, and yet these crimes continue.) And despite these efforts, as cases of kidnap, rape, and murder, in this state and around the country, continues, the various criminal justice, mental health, and correctional systems surrounding these offenders are shown as far from perfect.

Due to the obsessional nature of their disease (affliction, illness, or however the mental health and criminal justice professionals label it), the fear of sexual recidivism is constant. As many longitudinal studies suggest, the re-offend / re-arrest rate for these people, fresh from prison or a prison hospital, is 75 percent or higher. Those seem like great odds if you're betting on the Super Bowl in Vegas, but lousy ones if you found your child with an offender who swears he has "seen the light," found rdligion, or somehow realized the error of his previous malevolent ways.

The mere existence of a database filled with people who have already demonstrated extremely poor sexual, social, and behavioral boundaries points to a sad reality in society. These people and their crimes are not new; sex crimes have been around as long as sex. Taking adults and children by force and sexually abusing their bodies (not to mention scarring their psyches) has been around since we populated the caves. The fact that we have collected them electronically does not prevent their crimes from happening into the future.

So what is my major complaint about the Megan's Law databases? As a security expert and an HR professional, I'd like to see our Golden State legislators remove a single, yet critical, word from the existing statute: "Section 290.46(j)(2) expressly prohibits the use of information disclosed on the website for purposes relating to health insurance, insurance, loans, credit, employment, education, housing, or benefits, privileges, or services, provided by any business establishment." Delete the word "employment" from the statute and employers can get back the power to protect their own firms as they see fit.

If you can't use the fact that a job applicant to your business is on a sex offender database, to make a safe hiring decision, then what is the purpose of knowing in the first place? You can't unring that bell once it sounds. Let's ask our legislators to have the guts to allow concerned HR professionals, hiring managers, and small business owners to use the knowledge of an applicant on the Megan's Law database as criteria for not hiring that individual.

If we continue as it stands now, as one labor law attorney has put it, "We have made convicted sex offenders a 'protected class.'"

According to California law, the statute says that authorized users can access the web site's information "only to protect a person at risk,' who is defined by Penal Code section 290.45(a)(8) as a person who`is or may be exposed to a risk of becoming a victim of a sex offense committed by the offender.'"

Should a business owner or manager have the right to say to an applicant, "Based on the fact that you are on a verified database for sexual offenders, we choose not to hire you"? Before the civil libertarians rise up in anger, we already know that we can ask the applicant about criminal convictions (not arrests) during the interview process. And according to the US Department of Labor, we can weigh the existence of a conviction using three criteria: the nature of the crime, how long ago it happened, and the nature of the applicant's work with regard to the crime and his/her contact with employees, customers, taxpayers, patients, students, vendors, etc.

It's perfectly reasonable to say that a man convicted once for drunk driving in 1980 should be allowed to drive a school bus if he has had no other traffic, substance abuse, or behavioral issues since that date. A similar conviction in 2008 should disqualify him for the job.

The problem with sex offenders is that there is a good reason they are now classified and categorized on-line as such; they recidivate, they re-offend, they re-harm,*even after many years of "being clean and sober" from deviant sexual behavior (to mix the 12-step metaphor a bit).

Here's a typical employment scenario to consider: a man works as a maintenance employee at an apartment complex that houses families. As a result of his previous sex crime conviction, he was put on probation and labeled (per California Penal Code) as a "290 registrant." So while he may have completed his probation period (which barred him from contact with kids, loitering near a school, or whatever the restrictions spelled out), he still has to register as a sex offender, five days before or after his birthday, at the local police or sheriff's station in the county where he lives, for life.

So while the Probation Department may be done with him, the State of California (and other states, if he moves), is not.

Let's say there was no background check done on him to get his current position at the apartment complex; or he was never asked and didn't tell. By all accounts, he is a good employee, with no performance or behavioral problems.

A resident in the complex gets curious about him and decides to look for him in the Megan's Law database and discovers him there. Afraid for herself and her kids, she reports her findings to the management company of the apartment complex. What should they do? They cannot fire him for not revealing he is ` 290 registrant. They cannot fire him for being a 290 registrant. They cannot fire him "for-cause" - a violation of policy or procedures, an attendance problem, an attitude problem, or a work performance problem. They cannot fire him.

To put it in streetside legal terms, the management company is screwed.

Company lawyers would advise them to monitor his work performance, watch his behavior around co-workers and residents, and keep a weather eye out for any signs of problems. That's fine, right up until he sexually assaults a woman or child, and then it's too late to be vigilant.

If we fire him, thinks the management company, he sues us for wrongful termination. If we keep him and he assaults someone in the apartment complex, the victim and/or the family sues us for hiring or continuing to employ him. Once again, to put it in streetside legal terms, the management company is screwed.

This issue of not using the Megan's Law database as a judgmental criterion for employment prevents employers from making business decisions that affect their companies, their employees, and those they provide services to. If a hiring manager wants to hire a 290 registrant to work in his factory, he can. If a woman running a dry cleaning shop wants to hire a 290 registrant to work the front counter, she can. But if either of those people think that offering employment to a 290 registrant is just not worth the potential bad publicity (because the news almost always gets out) or the future risk to customers, kids, or others, why can't they just say no?
Sex Offenders at Your Company? It's Time to Take Back Our Hiring Process From the Legislators
Legislators, lawyers, and prisoner advocates say that sex offenders who have served their sentences or otherwise paid their so-called debts to society, should not continue to be judged, ostracized, re-victimized, or otherwise prevented from making a living. Perhaps. But because of the disturbing nature of their past crimes, or the fact that their living victims or their families get no peace, or because the temptation to strike again is so strong in so many of them, can't we ask our state legislators to give our employers back the discretion they need to make a decision that benefits many, instead of the one?

Nothing will bring Chelsea King back to life. Her killer was in the registered sex offender database and proved that it does not always shield our society from harm. Whether he had a job or didn't have a job was and is not the issue in her case. But for those who are housed in the Megan's Law system, their criminal conviction history is just as important to a potential employer. If a good predictor of future behavior is past behavior, then can we ask our state legislators to bring back common sense to the hiring process?

In 1994, Dr. Albrecht co-wrote Ticking Bombs: Defusing Violence in the Workplace, one of the first business books on workplace violence. Besides his work as a conference presenter and keynote speaker, he appears in the media and on the Internet, as a source on workplace violence, security, crime, and terrorism. He was featured in the 2009 BBC documentary "Going Postal." His 15 business and police books include Tough Training Topics; Tactical Perfection for Street Cops; Added Value Negotiating; Service, Service, Service!; Fear and Violence on the Job; Streetwork; and Contact and Cover.

As a trainer, speaker, author, and consultant, Dr. Steve Albrecht is internationally known for his expertise in high-risk HR issues. He provides consulting, threat assessments, site security surveys, corrective coaching, and training seminars in workplace violence prevention, harassment prevention, drug and alcohol awareness, team building, conflict resolution, high-risk customer service, and stress management.

Dr. Albrecht holds a doctoral degree in Business Administration (D.B.A.), an M.A. in Security Management, a B.A. in English, and a B.S. in Psychology. He has been a trainer for 24 years and is certified as a Professional in Human Resources (PHR) by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) and as a Certified Protection Professional (CPP) by the American Society for Industrial Security (ASIS).
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