Locating Registered Offenders

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

About 2,900 registered sex offenders living in Wisconsin have not reported their whereabouts, leaving the state unsure where they are.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says about 29 percent of the state's 9,900 released, registered sex offenders are listed as noncompliant because they either moved without telling the state or ignored letters asking them to say where they live.

The state's registry Web site lists noncompliant offenders by their last known ZIP code but does not mention that the location may be inaccurate.

The Wisconsin registry was created in 1997 to protect residents from pedophiles and rapists by letting them know where such convicts live.

The state mails a letter to all registrants once a year asking them to verify their information, and offenders are required to tell the state within ten days of any changes in their information. Registration must continue for either 15 years or for life, depending on their offense.

Sally Tess, director of the Wisconsin Bureau of Offender Programs, says that, when a supervised offender fails to return the letter, the offender's probation or parole agent is notified and told to track them down.

But she says that, when any of the 5,100 unsupervised offenders goes AWOL, those cases are sent to district attorneys, and finding those missing offenders becomes the job of her bureau's eight employees.

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