Lawmakers Consider How To Improve Sex Offender Registry

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Auditor Suzanne Bump. (Sam Doran/SHNS)
Auditor Suzanne Bump. (Sam Doran/SHNS)

State lawmakers are looking at how to better keep track of the estimated 22,000 sex offenders in Massachusetts. They held a hearing this week on a report by the state auditor which found the state did not have addresses for more than 1,700 sex offenders who were supposed to be registered with the sex offender registry board.

"We are not out there looking for sex offenders. Police do the investigations. And it's a good thing because there are 25,000 of them," said Public Safety Secretary Daniel Bennett, whose office oversees the board.

But state Auditor Suzanne Bump says the public is at risk because people don't know if potentially dangerous sex offenders are living in their communities. She said that the board "is not like the Registry of Motor Vehicles, passively taking information from compliant individuals. It has a statutory responsibility to ensure that the information is kept up to date, that it's accurate and that it's secure."


Andrew Harris, professor of criminology and justice studies at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. He is conducting a nationwide study of sex offender registration and notification systems.

This segment aired on October 25, 2017.

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Kathleen McNerney Senior Producer / Editor, Edify
Kathleen McNerney was the senior producer/editor of Edify.


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Deborah Becker Host/Reporter
Deborah Becker is a senior correspondent and host at WBUR. Her reporting focuses on mental health, criminal justice and education.



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