I’m a big believer in second chances, but when it comes to my family, I don’t take my chances.
As parents, we have a duty to protect our families from potential threats as best we can. This includes knowing if there are sex offenders living in your neighborhood. While most states don’t allow a convicted sex offender to live within 500-2500 feet from a school, that doesn’t mean they don’t live near where children live and play.
Thanks to Megan’s Law, this information is available for free to the public. It typically provides the offenders name, picture, address, and nature of the crime.
Here are a couple of helpful websites that can arm you with this important information:
1. National Sex Offender Public Website - You can view a list of public registry websites by state. This is coordinated by the U.S. Department of Justice with the cooperation of all 50 states, U.S. territories, and tribes.
2. Family Watchdog - I like the search by map tool on this website. Simply type in your address and see who lives around you. You can also sign-up for free alerts whenever offenders move in and out of your area.
Update: A reader pointed out that sometimes there’s more to a story. Some have been falsely accused and wrongly convicted, as was the case with Brian Banks.
That’s a good point, but it is still wise to be aware.