Boston Parenting Examiner/Tom Nalesnik

Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center have announced the
expansion of their Sex Offender Registration Tips Program (SORT) to
include communities in Massachusetts. The agency is now providing two
interactive resources for parents and community members across
Massachusetts: a Megan’s Law Helpline (888-ASK-PFML), and a website
containing a wide range of information, reporting tools, and victim
assistance resources. For example, the website lets people report
registered sex offenders believed to be out of compliance with
registration requirements, employment restrictions, conditions of
probation or parole, or who are in positions of trust where they can
gain access to potential child victims. Retired law enforcement
professionals with over 40 years of investigative and supervisory
experience are helping analyze and triage the SORT tips that come in to
the Parents For Megan’s Law organization. Viable leads and supporting
documentation are then forwarded to the appropriate local, state or
federal law enforcement or criminal justice agency for follow-up
action. SORT tips have resulted in identification of out-of-compliance
registered sex offenders and sex offenders working in positions of
trust with children. They have also provided law enforcement agencies
with information that has helped in the successful wrap-up of criminal
investigations. Parents For Megan’s Law is also working closely with
Facebook and MySpace to remove registrants from their social networking
sites. Because of SORT tips, many potentially dangerous situations have
already been averted – for example, by sending a registered sex
offender back to prison after he was identified as residing in a state
registered child day care center, with access to children; preventing a
convicted sex offender who had been a middle school teacher from
gaining employment as an in-home children’s tutor; identifying and
reporting a registered sex offender who had absconded and failed to
register; informing parents at a karate school that an instructor was a
registered sex offender in violation of probation, parole, local
employment and/or restriction laws. The SORT program is funded by the
U.S. Justice Department. Parents For Megan’s Law is a not-for-profit
national organization dedicated to the prevention and treatment of
sexual abuse, as well as provision of services to all victims of
violent crime. The agency is a Certified Rape Crisis Center, and also
staffs the National Megan’s Law Helpline and Sex Offender Registration
Tips (SORT) program. For more information, go to the Parents For
Megan's Law website, or call
toll-free 888-ASK-PFML.