WEB SITE PUBLISHES SEX OFFENDER DATA
In the past, information about high-risk sexual offenders was available only through local police departments or through a state-run hotline that charges $5 per inquiry. A new Web site, www.parentsformeganslaw.com, lists the names, addresses and other information about high-risk sexual offenders who have been released from prison and are living throughout New York. The Parents for Megan's Law organization put together the Web site because they wanted to make the data available to more people. Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law said, there are many barriers in the way to getting the information. This is one tool to help. If we can save one child, it's worth it. The Web site, which is based in Stony Brook in Suffolk County, only lists level 3 offenders. Some community leaders are skeptical about the cyber listings. Tom Shay, president of the Charlotte Community Associations aid, I'm sure their intent is meant to be good, but I just think there are better means to get that information out. God forbid that the information you've downloaded is wrong. There are concerns about the accuracy and timeliness of the Web site's data by state officials. The state has refused to give the information directly to Parents for Megan's Law, so members copy the data by hand from the subdirectories at police departments and transcribe the data to the Web site. A disclaimer on the Web site notes that error might exist and advises users to verify all information with the state.