STATE SHOWS PROBLEMS IN SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY
State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli released an audit yesterday of the state sex offender registry that, while generally positive, found significant flaws with its administration. According to the findings, one-fourth of the records investigators surveyed had mismatched driver's license information and, in some cases, license details for the wrong people were given out as those of offenders. Auditors randomly sampled license data for 200 of the state's 23,000 registered sex offenders, and found a quarter of the records did not match. Advocates for victims of sexual abuse welcomed the audit findings. We commend the comptroller for making child safety and community safety a top priority, said Laura Ahearn, director of Parents for Megan's Law. She said complaints from the community regarding inaccuracies in the registry were among the most common her Stony Brook based group receives. The registry is only one tool, but if it's going to be a tool the government is providing it has to be accurate, she said. Ahearn took issue with DiNapoli's recommendation that the state record calls it receives to the hotline offering information on registered offenders for training and quality purposes. Somebody who is victimized has a fear that somehow or another that information would get back to the offender, Ahearn said. So they don't call.
(Albany, New York)