SUPERVISOR DIANNE JACOB
DATE: September 16, 2003
CONTACT STEVE SCHMIDT AT 619-531-4766 or 619-206-9108
SEX OFFENDER PIN MAP IN JEOPARDY AFTER STATE DENIES PUBLIC ACCESS TO MEGAN'S LAW DATABASE
SAN DIEGO - Beginning next year, San Diego County residents might not be able to log on to the County's Registered Sex Offender Pin Map, an important Internet tool that allows parents and others to view the approximate locations of registered sex offenders living in the County.
Public access to the Megan's Law database is set to expire January 1, 2004 after the California State Legislature, in its final legislative session of 2003, failed to extend public access to the Megan's Law database of registered sex offenders.
San Diego County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, who launched the Internet Pin Map in 2002, said the database is the same system used to maintain locations of sex offenders for the Internet Pin Map.
"That the State could block access to the database and compromise our Pin Map is an outrage," said Jacob. "The database and the Pin Map have successfully alerted parents to dangerous ex-convicts living in County neighborhoods. It's a tragedy that the State would take away the public's right to view these tremendous resources," Jacob said.
Jacob is calling on state leaders to convene a special legislative session in the fall to protect public access to the database. In addition, she has issued support for a State ballot initiative that would make the Megan's Law database available over the Internet, as well as expand the amount of information available about convicted sex offenders, such as addresses and vehicle information.
When a March 5, 2003 decision by the U.S. Supreme Court allowed the states of Connecticut and Alaska to post detailed information about registered sex offenders on the Internet, Jacob called on the State to post the Megan's Law database online.
"The State should be enhancing the Megan's Law database and posting it online- not hiding it from the public," Jacob said.