(COLUMBUS)—Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine announced today that BCI has been awarded a grant to develop sex offender notification for use by colleges and universities. The $73,500 federal grant was awarded by the United States Department of Justice thought the SMART FY 2011 Support for Adam Walsh Act Implementation Grant Program.
“Unfortunately, there is a gap among current monitoring that leaves many students and university officials unaware of a student’s sex offender status. The Attorney General’s Office is committed to better protecting Ohioans by developing a sex offender notification system to meet the unique needs of Ohio’s colleges and universities,” said Attorney General DeWine.
When a convicted sex offender enrolls in a college or university, it is up to the offender to report the information to the county sheriff where he resides or is a student. If a sex offender fails to report that he is a student, there are no standard background checks that colleges or universities conduct that would allow the academic institution to glean this information. Likewise, the sheriff’s office in either the county that the student resides in or is a student in would not have the accurate information in the sex offender registration system regarding the offender’s status as a student.
Through the grant, the Attorney General’s Office will work with the state’s sex offender management system to give Ohio’s 147 colleges and universities access to sex offender data. The schools will gain access to a web-based system to compare data in an educational institution’s enrollment system against registered sex offender records stored in sex offender databases.
In 2009, Ohio became the first state in the nation to reach substantial implementation of the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA), Title I of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Ohio’s law enforcement agencies currently monitor over 29,000 registered sex offenders, including over 10,050 offenders who are incarcerated.
Lisa Hackley: 614-466-3840
Dan Tierney: 614-466-3840