Justice launches distributed site of sex offender data

The Justice Department has launched a Web site that lets the public search for sex offenders in their communities. The National Sex Offender Public Registry (www.nsopr.gov), run by the Office of Justice Programs, can return a list of registered sex offenders through name, city, county or ZIP code searches.

The Web site, which went live late last month, is unusual in that all the basic data is not housed by Justice. It resides on Web sites run by the participating states, according to Domingo Herraiz, director of the Bureau of Justice Assistance.

'This distributed model of information sharing is something relatively new,' Herraiz said. 'The states maintain the records. All we're doing is connecting in a single portal all the records that are out there and publicly available.'

When requested by a user, the sex offender data is routed to the site using the Global Justice Extensible Markup Language Data Model. Global JXDM is a data reference model developed by Justice to exchange information within the justice and publicsafety communities.

The site, which cost a little less than $1 million to initiate and run, was funded by the Edward Byrne Memorial Grant Program, a federal funding initiative named after a New York City police officer murdered by drug dealers.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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