State Offers Sex Offender Notifications by Email - WBAY

State Offers Sex Offender Notifications by Email


By Sarah Thomsen

If a sex offender moves into your neighborhood, you can now receive an instant notification from the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.

Since 2001, the DOC has made it possible for you to find out if a registered sex offender is living near you. Over the years the Sex Offender Registry web site has added specific addresses, maps, and photographs, although you always had to seek out the information.

But now the DOC can do it for you.

"What we have done is partnered with Family Watchdog, who provides free email notification service to the users," Melissa Roberts, DOC director of sex offender programs, said.

"We wanted to make it as user-friendly for our users as possible," she added.

The DOC will email you when a sex offender on the register moves in or out of your neighborhood. When a registered offender moves near you, you should receive an email within a day.

To sign up, go to the Department of Corrections web site (click here). You'll be prompted to create a log-in ID and password then enter your email address. You can then register your street address.

You can also track where a specific sex offender lives. Roberts said that "could be a useful tool for victims, maybe law enforcement is interested in a particular offender."

It's also meant to help the DOC keep track of the men and women on the registry.

"It's a way for us here in the registry to partner with law enforcement, work closely with the community so that we can increase our compliance."

The service is free. In just the first month, 13,000 people signed up.

"I think anything that makes it easier for people to seek out information to help keep themselves safe the better we are as a community," Roberts said.

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