A year ago, Tennessee was considered one of the worst states for keeping tabs on sex offenders, says the Tennessean in Nashville. About half of convicted rapists, child molesters, and other sex criminals in its sex-offender registry could not be found. Two bills began moving through the legislature yesterday that sponsors say will make the state one of the best at knowing where sex offenders are.
Clarksville prosecutor John Carney presented a bill on behalf of state prosecutors intended to toughen penalties for violating the registry law. Rep. Rob Briley, D-Nashville, presented his bill to use a $5 million global positioning system to keep tabs on violent sex offenders on probation or parole or who have served their time.
One plan would link 500-plus law enforcement agencies in the state into the Tennessee Information Enforcement system database and the Internet Criminal Information Center Hotline. The $5 million in Briley’s bill would go to training officers on using the GPS program and provide tracking devices for the first 1,000 offenders.