Indiana Moves Slowly On Posting Sex Offender Data

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Indiana’s plans to put the names and photos of convicted sex offenders online remains far from complete more than a month after a court approved the postings, says the Indianapolis Star. In the Indianapolis metro area, scores of rapists, molesters and other convicts are not registered.

The statewide registry includes about 5,000 names. An unknown number of convicts’ names remain unposted because of software challenges and fact-checking at the county level and the failure of many offenders to tell authorities their whereabouts. “You could have one living next door to you right now, and if you wanted to pull a picture up, you are not going to find a picture, even though the Supreme Court ruled they have to post those,” said Kelly Weldy, whose grade-school-age daughter was molested by a neighbor who was later convicted of a sex crime.

Other states have had mixed success in posting sex offenders’ names and pictures online. Alaska’s registry relies on a single computer system linked to all of the state’s law enforcement offices, and it is updated daily. In Georgia, legislation allowing an online list took effect in July 1997, but a comprehensive Internet roster didn’t appear until March 1998 said. Wisconsin officials took about 18 months to get such a registry online.

Indiana also been sluggish in compiling sex-offender data. The Hoosier state “is pretty close to the bottom” in gathering information for the National Sex Offender register, said Pete Brien, a statistical policy adviser at the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics.


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