State Auditor Crit Luallen released an assessment of Kentucky's Sex Offender Registry. The review found a program that is successful overall but could be enhanced by adopting the recommendations cited in the report.
"This year marks the tenth anniversary of the Registry, which is a valuable program that has never been independently evaluated. This review will benefit the program so that it will continue to operate effectively. Working with the Justice Cabinet, we have been able to add value to the process." Luallen said.
The Auditor's Office made five specific recommendations to improve the program. They are:
The online Registry does not indicate whether an offender victimized a minor. Sex crimes committed against children were the initial impetus for registration requirements, so the Auditor recommends this information should be provided to the public.
The Kentucky State Police have never tracked how many noncompliant registrants have been forwarded to the Department of Corrections. Likewise, the Department of Corrections has never tracked how many noncompliant registrants are forwarded for prosecution.
Auditor Luallen recommends a formal tracking process so that noncompliant registrants can be monitored from initial noncompliance to the resolution of any court proceedings.
The Registration Statute only requires that the names of noncompliant registrants be forwarded to the appropriate county attorney, even though county attorneys cannot prosecute felonies to conclusion in Kentucky. The Auditor recommends amending the statute to include the Commonwealth Attorney to ensure that the referral process for prosecution is more complete.
Usage of the online Registry has never been tracked. The Auditor recommends tracking the number of visitors to the Sex Offender Registry website to determine the level of public usage.
Kentucky State Police have developed a policy to inform out-of-state registrants of their right to appeal automatic lifetime status. The Auditor recommends that proof of the registrant's notification be maintained in the registrant's file.
The report was formally presented to Lieutenant Governor Steve Pence in his role as Secretary of the Justice Cabinet. At the time of the review, there were 4,311 sex offenders registered in Kentucky. Registrant information is posted on the Internet at www.kentuckystatepolice.org/sor.htm where it is available for public inspection.