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Thursday, August 12, 2010 - 11:07am

Audit Blasts Sex Offender Registry

Georgia's independent auditing agency says, the state's sex offenders registry is systemically "outdated" and "does not fully meet the needs of law enforcement or the public."

The 58-page report prepared by the state Department of Audits and Accounts characterizes the sex offender registry as inefficient and error-prone.

John Bankhead, spokesman for Georgia Bureau of Investigations, which administers the database, says the report did not tell them anything they didn't already know.

Bankhead says, under-staffing and a lack of funds have become the main roadblocks in the way of a more effective sex offender registry.

"We knew that there needed to be improvements, but because of budget cuts, those pretty much can't be made,"
Bankhead says. "We I think the tax money used to perform this audit could have been better used to improve the sex offender registry."

According to Bankhead, the improvements to the database could cost upward of $400,000 dollars.

This report did not residency restrictions or other enforcement issues relating to constitutionality of the registry outside of operational effectiveness.

The registry began in 1996 and this year will list 19,000 names.

Over 8,000,000 people search the database every year.

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