California this month unveiled a Web site that lets residents search their neighborhoods for registered sex offenders, says the New York Times. Millions of people consulted the records. The database has also come under quick criticism from child advocacy organizations as incomplete and years late in coming. “It’s not really measuring up to what the model state sex-offender registry should be,” said Laura Ahearn of Parents for Megan’s Law, a federally financed organization based in New York. Critics complains that the site, with more than 63,000 listings, leaves out 22,000 more names and contains incomplete or inaccurate information. It does not permit searches by physical characteristics or vehicle registration information, often the only way people are able to identify offenders.
Meganslaw.ca.gov, was online Dec. 15, and by that evening it was too crowded to navigate. Marc Klaas had been pushing for such a site since 1996. “It was never enough of a government priority to make it happen,” said Klaas, whose 12-year-old daughter, Polly, was kidnapped and murdered in 1993. He asked, “Why now and not five years ago? Why not eight years ago?”