In Missouri, those convicted or found guilty of sexual offenses are required to register their name, address, and additional information with their chief local law enforcement official, along with verification at regular intervals.
But, a report released Monday by State Auditor Nicole Galloway finds that local law enforcement officials in the state of Missouri are unable to locate over 1,259 registered sex offenders. According to Galloway’s audit of the state’s Sex Offender Registration program, of almost 16,000 offenders required to register, 7.9% have failed to comply with state law, and less than 10% of offenders identified as noncompliant had an active arrest warrant for noncompliance.
In a map released along with the audit, 5.1-10% of offenders are reportedly unaccounted for in Cape and Scott counties, with 20.1-25.2% in Stoddard county.
Galloway reports that this inadequate enforcement of registration requirements has triggered a need to improve the management of the sex offender database, and says the Legislature should make revisions to strengthen state law.
"The law requiring sex offenders to register has been on the books for more than 20 years to help keep our communities, and especially our children, safe," Auditor Galloway said in a press release. "But if the law isn't enforced, it's not effective and public safety is compromised."
To read the full report, visit: http://app.auditor.mo.gov/Repository/Press/2018106545581.pdf