Bullock Admits FAILURE: 1 In 4 Sex Offenders Go Unregistered
SHOCKER:‘Crisis’ as 26% of convicted sex offenders not identified on the required sex offender registry. Attorney General Steve Bullock, responsible for the Sexual or Violent Offender Registry, admits failure. “The buck stops here for running the registry,” Bullock confesses.
As a result, the audit reveals one in four convicted sex offenders in Montana is not properly listed in the state Sexual or Violent Offender Registry. The registry informs law enforcement and the public where potentially dangerous offenders currently reside.
“Offenders who fail to submit their annual verification letter within 15 days are not automatically flagged in SVOR in such a way that makes their overdue status available to law enforcement or the public,” the report notes. Bullock is supposed to flag overdue offenders.
Bullock’s failure to do so means 1,289 convicted sexual or violent offenders are currently living in Montana communities, with parents and law enforcement unaware of their current location.
Offenders who do not update their address may face a $10,000 fine and/or five years in prison, but they have gone free under Bullock.
Bullock admitted his failure to the Audit Committee. “The buck stops here for running the registry,” Bullock confessed. Bullock is legally responsible for notifying local law enforcement when an offender fails to update their address. Bullock has not done so.
“We cannot allow known sex offenders to continue to take advantage of the inconsistency in reporting and tracking in many states,” The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said in a statement on sex offender registry reform. “States have the ability to prevent more predators from slipping through the cracks and harming more children. They need to act today.”
The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children has noted Montana is one of only eight states where “the law is ambiguous as to whether the state or the sex offender must notify a new state when the offender moves.”
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