Ohio Attorney General Updates Statewide Sex Offender Registry Technology

Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost announced Monday that all 88 county sheriffs in the state received new cameras to improve the routine registration procedure for convicted sexual offenders.

“Ohio’s sex offender registration system plays a critical role in holding convicted offenders accountable, and in the hands of our county sheriffs, these tools ensure that photographs are clear and uniform across the state. Our job is to support local law enforcement, and that’s exactly what we’re doing with this grant,” Yost said.

Sheriff’s departments in 59 counties that requested new computers will also get new equipment to handle sex offenders’ registrations.

The Sex Offender Registry Notification (SORN) system, which law enforcement accesses through the Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation, is supported by new software updates and customizing features.

The technology now used for registrations is frequently outdated and was last updated a decade ago in 2013. According to Yost, new technology promotes uniformity throughout the state and enhances the clarity of offender images, enhancing public safety.

“Today we’re updating the technology and the hardware so that this system can continue to operate to make Ohio safer,” Yost said.

Madison County Sheriff John Swaney, chairman of Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association’s Offender Notification Committee, said sex registration creates awareness of potential dangers in the community.

“Registration in the state of Ohio is important so people are aware of the dangers within their community it’s also a very good investigative tool to have so when investigators have such crimes in the area they have a database that they can access and get information from,” Swaney said.

The attorney general’s office upgraded the registration system for $384,283. The U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (SMART) supplied the funding through a grant.

County sheriffs are in charge of photographing and documenting sexual offenders.

Yost said that sheriffs expect convicted sex offenders to register their homes, places of employment, and places of attendance; to record changes in addresses; and to recurrently verify their addresses with the sheriff in their county.

According to Butler County Sheriff Richard Jones, sex offender registrations are important to check on individuals who have “committed terrible heinous crimes.”

Robert Cornwell, executive director of the Buckeye State Sheriff’s Association, applauded Yost for providing crucial technology to allow sheriffs to perform their jobs more efficiently.

“The Sheriffs of Ohio are very appreciative of the efforts of Attorney General Yost to provide funding for the state-of-the-art technology which will allow the Sheriffs to be more efficient in their job duties,” Cornwell said.

Since 1963, Ohio has compelled sex offenders to register. In accordance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, Ohio was the first state to adopt current sex offender registration and notification legislation completely.

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Hannah Poling is a lead reporter at The Ohio Star and The Star News Network. Follow Hannah on Twitter @HannahPoling1. Email tips to [email protected]
Photo “Sex Offender Registry Notification” by
Ohio Attorney General.


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