Many people believe that sex offender registries protect their families from sexual predators. But how accurate is the information on the registries? That’s the question posed by an article the Argus-Leader of Sioux Falls, South Dakota.
The newspaper reports that Dakota RSOL Family Solutions recently sent letters to every address on the registry, other than those who aren’t in jail.
Of the 2,100 letters the group sent out, 166 were returned. That’s about 8 percent.Of those, 63 were returned “not deliverable as addressed,” another 70 were labeled “no mail receptacle.” Three letters came back “vacant,” seven were returned from South Dakota Employment, two were refused, another three were stamped “moved” and four returned letters said the addressee had deceased. Fourteen others came back for unknown reasons.
The advocacy group is not the only one that has trouble with incorrect addresses – so does the agency that keeps track of registered citizens.
Each month, the DCI sends out letters of its own, although not to every address. In January, 12 of the agency’s 246 address verification letters – about 5 percent - were returned, Rabern said. About seven percent of the February letters came back – 15 of 215.
State officials disclaim any responsibility for address errors. Still, one might ask how many unsuspecting people across the nation might have their address mistakenly listed on a sex offender registry.