The nationwide crackdown on child pornography and other sex offenses has created severe manpower shortages and technology challenges for probation officers, police, and federal agents, says the Washington Post. They are struggling to track offenders who are going online with cellphones and portable game systems and flocking to social networking and other sites, where children or pornography can easily be found.
There are at least 716,000 registered sex offenders nationwide, says the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, up 78 percent since 2001. The focus on crimes against children that began in the Bush administration shows no sign of abating under President Obama. Many offenders are now leaving prison, as revenue-strapped states are cutting the budgets of probation departments. “The burden on probation and parole officers is going to explode,” said Ernie Allen, the national center’s president.