The state’s Sex Offender Registry will now display multiple images of convicted sex offenders to help make them more recognizable to the public and law enforcement, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced today.
There are currently 36,336 sex offenders registered with the state. Offenders are divided into three levels, with level three being the highest risk to the public. The Division of Criminal Justice Services runs the Sex Offender Registry and has the photos on its website.
Multiple photos of sex offenders will be added as they become available, and there was no formal deadline for when the registry will be completely updated. Formerly, only one photo of an offender was required.
Information about offenders with level two and three statuses can be found on the online registry. The registry will have multiple pictures of the offender, home addresses, work addresses, and information about the crime, sentence, and parole conditions of each level two and three offender.
Information about level-one offenders can only be accessed through a toll-free number and limited information is given out, such as only a zip code, not a street address.
“Expanding New York’s Sex Offender Registry to include multiple photographs helps ensure that we are providing the most accurate and up-to-date information on offenders living in the state,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This important expansion is designed to make offenders more recognizable and account for changes in appearance, which increases public awareness and makes the Registry an even better resource for law enforcement agencies to monitor their communities.”
Level one and two offenders are required to update their photographs every three years.
Level three offenders are legally required to update their photograph every year. When level-three offenders personally verify their address every 90 days, police must take a new photograph if the sex offender’s appearance has changed.
“The expansion of the Registry to include multiple photographs of an offender will help the police and the public. The Sex Offender Registration Act has been amended over the years to make the Registry a better resource,” Steven Heider, president of the state Association of Chiefs of Police, said in statement.
The Sex Offender Registry has staff that usually processes new information the same day it is received. In 2012, there were more than 81,000 total forms submitted that indicated a change on a sex offender’s information. Of that total, 13,000 of those forms were new photographs being submitted.
To view the Sex Offender Registry visit: http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/nsor/ or call the toll free number: 800-262-3257.