An Indiana sex offender is listed on the state’s registry as living in a day-care center. He doesn’t really live there, but it is just one example of many problems the Indianapolis Star uncovered during an examination of the registry. Another offender shown as living at an Indianapolis address has been residing in Colorado since at least July 2009. It’s not hard to find him — he’s in jail. More than 20 sex offenders are displayed on the registry’s map by the Canal Walk downtown. They don’t live there. But they, too, aren’t especially hard to track down. Each of them is actually in prison.
People who run places in Indianapolis that house a lot of sex offenders say the registry often lists many more offenders than actually live there. One homeless shelter, for example, keeps a maximum of 13 beds available for sex offenders. The registry regularly lists 20 or more as living there. Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle, as well as a major children’s advocacy group, say such inaccuracies undercut a core purpose of such registries: to protect the public by providing people a way to check whether there are sex offenders near where they live, where they work, or where their children go to school.