Sex Offender Registry Will Include Offender’s Employer
In an effort to better inform communities of the whereabouts of
resident sex offenders, Texas will add information about the
offender’s employment to the Department of Public Safety Web
Currently the Texas Department of Public Safety Web site
provides each offender’s name, date of birth, home address, a
physical description and photos. The information also includes
the victim’s age and gender. Starting as early as June of this
year, each offender’s place of employment and job title will be
added according to Tela Mange, spokeswoman for the DPS.
While some believe the job information will be an important tool
for fighting crime, others are concerned that making places of
employment available easily accessible could present a barrier
for offenders who are trying to succeed.
Helga Dill, chairwoman of Texas Citizens United for
Rehabilitation of Errants, said that convicted felons
already have difficulty finding jobs, but when the information
is public, "these employers are not going to even look at the
capability of this offender." According to Dill, posting
specific information about jobs could be potentially
Rebecca Bernhardt, director of policy development for the
American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said the
fundamental issue is whether providing employment information
"makes us more safe or less safe."
"If it leads to offenders losing their jobs, that's
destabilizing — even in anybody's life. And if we're concerned
about the risk of folks re-offending, being less connected, not
having gainful employment, not having a roof over your head —
these are things that put people in a more vulnerable position
if they're susceptible to having run-ins with the law."
State Attorney General Greg Abbott has said employment status
and location for registered sex offenders are public information
Mange says, “the more information people have about who may
potentially have access to their children, the better that is."
In addition to adding job information to the registry, the
changes will also let people sign up for e-mail alerts when an
offender moves into their neighborhood."
Fort Worth Star-Telegram, http://www.star-telegram.com
Source: The Dallas Morning News, http://www.dallasnews.com