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Friday, September 29, 2017

Feeling Safe?

Audit: 1,700 unaccounted for; Baker says SJC rulings a factor

 Bob McGovern, Matt Stout Thursday, September 28, 2017

Hundreds of convicted sex offenders have either gone unaccounted for or haven’t yet been classified, according to a blockbuster audit that caused the state’s public safety office — and Gov. Charlie Baker — to point at high court decisions as a possible reason for the issues.

A report from state Auditor Suzanne M. Bump found that the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry lost track of more than 1,700 sex offenders and has yet to classify the threat level of 936 individuals.
“SORB does not have adequate internal controls, such as policies and procedures, in place to ensure that all sex offenders are classified in a timely manner (i.e., while they are still in custody),” the audit, released publicly yesterday, states. “This allows some offenders with a high risk of reoffense to remain unclassified.”

Of those who were unclassified, 237 were convicted of indecent assault and battery on a person age 14 or older, 177 were convicted of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14, 143 were convicted of rape, and 129 were convicted of rape of a child with force, according to the audit.

The audit also found that SORB wasn’t verifying violators’ addresses through pre-existing data-sharing agreements with the Department of Revenue and the Department of Transitional Assist­ance.

“As technology and data collection continue to change and improve, our state agencies have an opportunity to utilize that change to break down the silos that have historically existed in government,” Bump said in a statement.

In response to the audit, SORB indicated it will use its existing data-sharing agreements and “build similar agreements with other state government agencies.”

Regarding the classification ­issue, public safety officials pointed to Supreme Judicial Court rulings — including a massive 2015 case — that raised the legal standard used to determine the likelihood of a sex offender reoffending.

“While we respectfully feel that this audit left out some critical facts about these courts ­decisions, we agree that this is an important public safety issue and will continue to work on it with the Legislature,” a spokesman for SORB said.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe they can find their missing sex offenders at the old Fernald School. How long they plan to keep these people there is anyone's guess. Until they are moved, there are limits to what else could go there. This town is in dire need of revenue. Any business that can bring in some added money would be of great help. Bev.