California sex offender Search
State Sex Offender Search: California
California, like all states, is required by federal law to provide public access to the state’s sex offender registry. There are more than 63,000 individuals required under California law to register as sex offenders. The online registry lists over 33,500 specific sex offenders’ home addresses. By visiting you can link to California’s online sex offender registry—the site is vast (rather like the state itself), but certainly navigable to even novice researchers.
The above website directs you to California’s Attorney General and Department of Justice. The site is a huge umbrella for a wide array of information that includes links to government, criminal justice, firearms, crime statistics, legal opinions, prevention, etc…Under each of these headings are multiple specifics that researchers can link to. In this case, for a sex offender search, scroll down the home page looking at the left-side menu on the screen. Under the heading criminal justice, click on “registered sex offenders (Megan’s Law).
From here you will be directed to the home page for searching California’s sex offender registry. If you balked at the attorney general’s website and its densely-packed page, you will be relieved to find a much more basically-designed webpage at this point. There is another left-side menu and then a couple paragraphs in the main portion of the page with noticeable links. The menu offers links to the following: Search California’s Sex Registrants, Megan’s Law, Frequently Asked Questions, How to Protect Yourself and Your Family, Facts About Sex Offenders, Sex Offender Registration and Exclusion Information, Publications, and Contact Us.
Other sites generally provide links to various types of information as well, but California truly conveys down-to-earth information about the reality of this issue and provides basic relevant information that the public needs to know. In other words—this site is well-done and does the job it sets out to do—keep the public informed about this dangerous population and convey helpful information relevant to sex offender research.
The main portion of the screen provides information related to a search. The site makes it clear that researchers can search by name, city/county listings or by zip code. After reading the concise text, scroll down briefly. You will see a button reading “continue.” Click on this. You will be directed to a typical disclaimer page along with terms and conditions of the site that you must agree to before you will be allowed to search. Read the information. If you wish to continue, check the agreement box and click on the “continue” button.
At this point you will be directed to a slightly confusing page. On the left site are headings that one can obviously search by: name, address, city, zip code, county, parks and schools. On the right side of the screen is a map of bare map of California—no towns, boundaries, etc…listed, but if you hover over an area with the mouse, counties will pop up by which you might also search. In essence, there should be no confusion—the map is simply an alternative approach to a search.
The headings, however, are common enough, except for parks and schools. Most state sex offender registries do not provide park and school searches. This site, however, allows searchers to access information about sex offenders living in a mile radius of specific schools or parks. This is an excellent search feature and demonstrates how the site goes above and beyond the bare minimum of providing information relevant to the public.
As a sample search, click on the heading for city. On the right side of the screen you will see a text box where you may enter a California city. Immediately you will be directed to a page set in columns that include photos, names, addresses, city, zip code and county. For more specific information about an offender, click on the name. Each offender’s page is set up like a file cabinet. You will first see an open tab for description that provides address, county, date of birth, sex, height, weight, eye color, hair color and ethnicity.
The next tab lists offenses. Click on it to find descriptions of the sexual offense as well as the code number of the offense. The next tab is for scars, marks or tattoos. This list provides identifiable markings if the person has any. The last tab lists any known aliases. In any case, this is very thorough record-keeping that is available to the public. As California has a high number of sex offenders in its state, it does a good job of registering them and providing information about them to the public.
If you return back to your city search, instead of clicking on a name, go to the address column. Beneath the address is a link that reads “show on the map.” Not all online sex offender sites provide mapping capability. This website does. Again, this site provides considerably more information about specific sex offenders than other sites and they make searching quite easy even for novice researchers.
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