The Alabama Sex Offender Registry (ABI) has the names of over 11,000 criminals accused of sexual crimes in the state; while not all the records in the registry are open to public viewing, information on all adult offenders is disseminated in the interest of public safety. Names of juvenile offenders and criminals who were not convicted of sexual offenses in the state are often withheld from private parties and individuals looking for details on sex offenders in their neighborhood.
The data is gathered by local law enforcement agencies and forwarded to the Department of Public Safety which then adds it to the ABI repository. When looking for sex offender related information, you will need to get in touch with ABI personnel as they are not only responsible for updating the database but also responding to inquiries made through email and in person.
How does the sex offender registration process work?
All convicted sex offenders and those out on parole or probation are required by law to offer information about themselves including their full name, employment status and place and house address for inclusion in the central registry. Any change in residential status or address has to be notified to the local sheriff's department from where it finds its way into the AI database.
Every year in the birth month of the offender, the Department of Public Safety mails a form to the last known address of the offender which has to be completed and mailed back to the Department for verification along with a current photograph and set of fingerprints.
Registered offenders are segregated into 3 levels depending on the seriousness of their crime; in the state of Alabama, records on Level 1 offenders, who are people found guilty of sexual misconduct and indecent exposure, is not open for public viewing. Only names of convicted people who have served time for offenses listed in the Community Notification Act 15-20-21 are included in the registry.
Also, information on juvenile and youth offenders is not included in the registry although this is available to law enforcement officials. Individuals who have been convicted in a federal court or by a judicial entity outside of the state of Alabama or an Indian reservation will also not be made a part of the database until a process hearing has been completed.
How to find sex offenders in Alabama?
If you are looking for sex offenders who live in your county or locality, you can use the online tool offered on the official website of the Department of Public Safety at http://dps.alabama.gov/community/wfsexoffendersearch.aspx. Once you accept the condition for viewing and use of the records procured from the database, you will be directed to a search page. Two options are available on the website; you can either look for offenders by name or find all people convicted of sexual crimes in a specific area.
For using the name search tool on http://dps.alabama.gov/community/wfsexoffendersearch.aspx , simply furnish the last name of the individual along with the county and city that he resides in to find relevant information. On the other hand, if you are interested in a generic report on all known sex offenders in a specific area, use the address radius search which will bring back results on all offenders in a 5 to 25 mile radius of a particular address.
If either one of the searches reveals that a registered sex offender has changed his address, and if this has not been updated in the ABI repository, you should contact the local sheriff's department.
What does it mean if you find the name of a person in the sex offender registry?
The sex offender notification law only places restrictions on residency and employment of people convicted of sexual crimes. While as a general rule, an offender cannot live with a minor, there are some exceptions. For instance, a known sex offender can live with his minor children as long as he is the parent, grandparent or the step parent of such a child/children, as long as the victim of his crime was not a minor under his supervision.
If an offender has been found guilty of crimes against minors, he cannot be found loitering in areas that are frequented by children like parks, schools, day care facilities etc. Such an offender may be allowed to pick his/her children from such areas but he should not exceed the time absolutely necessary to perform such a task.