State sex offender registry adds ability to search for offenders enrolled in colleges

The Florida policy of publicizing the crimes of sex offenders even more than convicted murders took another step this year by adding the ability for people to search sex offenders enrolled in state colleges and universities. This is one more impediment from encouraging convicted sex offenders to move past their crimes and get the education and training needed to move on and start or further a career. An analysis of the newly collected data found Jacksonville had the most sex offenders enrolled and that Florida State College at Jacksonville had the highest number in the state, according to a report in the Florida Times-Union.

Right now, the college does not make admissions decisions based on a person’s criminal history, the newspaper reported. Security officers are notified when a sex offender registers for classes and they them meet individually with each offender and go over where they can and cannot go on campus, including a child care center that is off-limits, the newspaper reported. Other colleges statewide publish the names of every offender taking classes and include a link to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement profile that shows what the person was charged with and convicted of, the newspaper reported. Already, anyone who is convicted of or pleads guilty to a Jacksonville Sex Crime must register with their local police department and check in at least twice a year. Whenever the person moves residences, neighbors in the surrounding area are notified of the move, and the crime that made the person a sex offender. There are also restrictions on where a registered sex offender can live, including proximately to schools and playgrounds.

Jacksonville Sex Crimes carry such a stigma in our society that there is rarely anyone from a legislative standpoint that will say something goes too far in identifying sex offenders. Adding the college enrollment search function seems a little much. If someone is living on a college campus, in a dorm or an apartment off campus, everyone living there is already notified the person is a sex offender. All of the information is already available online if one searches by name or proximately to the address, this search function just makes it easier to determine if sex offenders are taking classes at commuter schools like FSCJ. The board is scheduled to discuss the findings next month and it will be interesting to see if enrollment policies or notification changes are made. A Jacksonville Sex Crime carries its own form of a life sentence, even if a person has done his or her time. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes attorney knows the ramifications that pleading guilty to a sex crime can have on the rest of a person’s life and can advise you or your loved one on the best steps going forward.

If you or a loved one needs a criminal defense attorney in Jacksonville or the surrounding area, call The Mussallem Law Firm at (904) 365-5200 for a FREE CONSULTATION. Our Jacksonville Sex Crimes Attorney, Victoria “Tori” Mussallem, is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.