OKLAHOMA CITY - The State Senate has voted in favor of legislation which would give the public access to information regarding the whereabouts of registered sex offenders. Senator Jerry Smith is author of Senate Bill 723.
"Two years ago we passed a law which required convicted sex offenders to register with local law enforcement, with schools and other childcare providers having access to that information," said Smith, R-Tulsa..
"Now it's time to take the next step. We need to give the public access to that list."
Under SB 723, the public would be able to contact either the Department of Corrections or local law enforcement to find out whether a person was a convicted sex offender. Senator Smith explained the bill would help protect potential victims from known rapists and child molesters.
"Let's say someone notices an adult in the neighborhood is paying too much attention to the local kids, or acting in some other suspicious manner. SB 723 would give folks in that neighborhood the ability to find out whether that person was a convicted sex offender," said Smith.
SB 723 also requires that convicted sex offenders provide more detailed information, and requires them to notify local law enforcement within three days if they move.
"The fact is, most people convicted of rape or child molestation will eventually be released from prison. Because of the heinous nature of these crimes, and the high rate of recidivism among sex offenders, I believe we should do everything we can to make sure Oklahoma families can get the information needed to protect themselves," commented Smith.
The measure now moves to the House for further consideration.