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National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) vs. National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR)

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2018
1 page
This paper compares the features of the National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) with those of the National Sex Offender Registry (NSOR).
The NSOPW and NSOR are compared on the following features: accessibility, maintenance, database, amount of information, accuracy, and discrepancies. Whereas the NSOPW can be accessed by the general public, the NSOR can be accessed only by law enforcement agencies and other authorized criminal justice agencies. The NSOPW is maintained by the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Program's Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering and Tracking (SMART). The NSOB is maintained by the Federal Bureau of Investigation's Criminal Justice Information Services. NSOPW does not have a database, It uses web services to search the individual public registry websites from each jurisdiction. NSOR, on the other hand, has a single national database of registered sex offenders. Information on an offender in NSOPW may provide only a subset of the information entered in NSOR, since NSOR may contain more information on an offender than can be shared publicly. Regarding accuracy, the NSOPW does not control the information publicly displayed. Although the NSOR is not responsible for the accuracy of the information it receives from each jurisdiction, each jurisdiction is periodically audited for timeliness, completeness, and accuracy. Regarding discrepancies, registered sex offenders who do not appear on NSOPW may still be listed in NSOR, because jurisdictions may prohibit public posting of certain types of offenders.

Date Published: July 1, 2018