Pennsylvania's Megan's Law website, which lists registered sex offenders and where they live, received a C- grade in a report issued today by the state auditor general.
The report found that although the amount of information on the site has improved in recent years, offender photographs and website search functions and tools still lag behind those of other states. All 50 states and the District of Columbia have Megan's Law sites.
Auditor General Jack Wagner said Tuesday that photos are often blurry or too light or offenders have their eyes shut or are wearing a hat. He said that inconsistencies in the names of towns and cities means searches do not always produce a complete list of offenders in that area. "We are not pleased with the Megan's Law website," Wagner said. "We think it could be dramatically improved."
Recommendations included in the report to improve the site are addition of a mapping tool to include street maps of where offenders live and multiple color photos of each offender, along with the dates they were taken.
Additionally, search inconsistencies, such as spelling "Pittsburgh" with or without an "h," should be fixed and the website should enable an e-mail notification option that allows residents to be notified when a sex offender registers in their neighborhood, he said.
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