How to search for sexual offenders in your neighborhood

The passage of "Megan's Law" in 1996 required that every state make publicly available a registry of sexual offenders who have been released from prison. The information in the sex offender registry that is available to the public varies depending on state law, but typically includes the offender's name, photograph, home address and the nature of the crime. The 2003 murder of University of North Dakota student Dru Sjodin led to the creation of the "Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website," a search engine created by the Department of Justice that allows you to search the registry in all 50 states at once. You can use this search engine to find out if there are sex offenders living near your home.

Visit the "Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website."

Enter the "CAPTCHA" code in the text box and click "Continue."

Click on the link that says "Click Here" to enter the advanced search page, which allows you to search by location.

Click the radio button next to "State/Territory" and select your state from the drop-down menu.

Enter your county or town name if you want to search that way, or your postcode. Click "Search." You can then click on the names of listed offenders and view their public registry information, including addresses and photographs.

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About the Author

Jacqui Lane has been writing professionally for print and the web since 2004. She got her start at a small publisher, where she wrote, edited, designed advertising and handled page layout for up to five magazines a month. She writes primarily about video games, technology and internet culture. Lane holds a Bachelor of Arts in online journalism from Marshall University.