Sex offender registries are often inaccurate and incomplete, undermining public knowledge about some of the nation’s most reviled criminals, Justice Department investigators warn. The national sex registry is missing information on 22 percent of state-level sex offenders, reports McClatchy Newspapers. Driver’s license information, Social Security numbers and basic addresses are regularly absent, potentially leaving neighbors and police alike in the dark.
“As a result, members of the public will not have the information they need to assess the threat posed by sex offenders in their communities,” the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General cautioned. The investigators aren’t completely critical in their new 110-page report assessing progress in tracking sex offenders. They praise, for instance, the U.S. Marshals Service for increasing investigations and arrests of fugitives. The Marshals Service conducted 2,621 fugitive sex-offender investigations last year, up from 390 in 2004.