Sex Offender Compliance Better Statewide
JEFFERSON CITY - State Auditor Susan Montee released an audit Tuesday showing an increase in the number of sex offenders complying with state law.
Since 2002, Missouri has seen a nearly 30-percent decrease in the number of sex offenders who do not give their location to local and state officials.
A 2002 audit showed that 36-percent of sex offenders did not check in but a state audit released Wednesday showed that number has dropped to 7-percent.
Montee held a press conference Wednesday morning to announce the findings of the audit.
While she praised the drop in the number of non-compliant sex offenders in Missouri, she did highlight a couple of weak points in the Sex Offender Registration Program.
"It [The Sex Offender Registration Program Audit] is kind of good news," said Montee.
Missouri still does not comply with requirements listed in the federal Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act. If Missouri does not make adjustments to its sex offender laws by next summer it could lose federal money.
"We did not get the notification that we wre not in substantial compliance until March of 2010, so we just got it, so now we know what we have to have to be in substantial compliance and as of now that is next summer," said Montee.
Montee says the General Assembly will have to make the changes. She says they should have no problem doing so, and have made similar changes in the past.
The recent changes in federal requirements come after a 2009 Missouri Supreme Court ruling required 4,465 previously exempt sexual offenders to re-register on the sexual offender registry.
Those sex offenders were previously able to go un-registered because they were classified before the initial law required them to register.