The notification system indicating when a sex offender has moved into your neighborhood just got a little tech savvier.
Idaho State Bureau of Criminal Identification announced Dec. 16 that it has developed an email notification program that does just that. Those interested in receiving the notifications fill out a brief form that requires physical and email addresses, and a radius—one, three or five miles—and voila! The Idaho State Police pass along an email alert any time a registered sex offender moves within the circle with the provided address at its center.
The system also has an option whereby subscribers can receive email alerts when a specific registrant changes location.
The alert program draws from the Idaho Sex Offender Registry. Convicted sex offenders must update their information on the registry every time it changes, so the information is up to date. Previous alert systems used mail to tell interested parties, including schools and other organizations that deal with children, when an offender has become a neighbor.
According to ISP Public Information Officer Teresa Baker, the notification system enhances services used only sporadically by the public.
"People don't check the [Idaho Sex Offender Registry] all the time. This is a more proactive solution," she said.
The new alert system moves Idaho closer to compliance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act. Before the state has fulfilled its obligation to the law, however, it must still enact changes to the notification system, including requiring Tier III sex offenders—those legally obligated to register their locations and places of work in perpetuity—to register more frequently than is required by Idaho law. Full compliance with the Adam Walsh Act would also obligate the workplaces of registered sex offenders to be searchable, as well as their home residences.