When an individual is released from a rehabilitative facility following a conviction of a statutory sexual offense, the person must register themselves before attempting assimilation into a particular community. The laws that govern the registration of sex offenders are outlined under Megan's laws. That being said, Megan's laws, although enforced through Supreme Court rulings, are up for individual State interpretation.
The information on a particular sex offender's application or registration will vary based on each jurisdiction and State. In addition, the process of notification in regards to registered sex offenders will also vary based on the particular State's interpretation of Megan's law.
When a sexual predator moves into a neighborhood, he or she must register with the area's local police enforcement agency. The address, the offense committed, the name, and the date at which the individual moved in is mandatory public information that can be viewed on a number of registrations or sexual predator databases. The notification process of registered sex offenders, however, will vary (like the specifics of the individual's profile) based on State law.
For instance, some registered sex offenders are required to personally notify each member of the community of their past and their current location within the neighborhood. In contrast, other states simply require that registered sex offenders submit their information to online or Government databases.
Regardless of the notification technique, the presence of a sex offender within a community typically becomes understood through word of mouth. When a community member is aware of registered sex offender’s living in their area they will invariably spread the word to other members of the community.