Flyers No Longer Distributed to Notify Neighbors of Sex Offenders

Question: Our neighbor informed us that the Department of Public Safety (“DPS”) has a website for the location of registered sex offenders (“RSOs”) in Arizona. We went on this website and learned that there are three RSOs living in our north Phoenix community. We have lived in our home for almost 20 years and have never received any flyers or other notification to us of any RSOs in our north Phoenix community. Shouldn’t we have received these flyers?

Answer: The history of disclosure of RSOs in a community goes back more than 25 years. Megan Kafka was a 9-year-old girl who was murdered more than 25 years ago by two convicted sex offenders who lived across the street from Megan Kafka. Neither her parents nor anyone in the neighborhood knew of these two sex offenders. In response to Megan Kafka’s death, various forms of Megan’s Law were adopted in the United States to require registration of sex offenders, and to require disclosure of these sex offenders to neighbors in the community. Although these Megan’s Laws initially required distribution by flyers or other notification of these registered sex offenders in the community, with the advent of the Internet, distribution of flyers has been replaced by registration of sex offenders on websites such as the DPS website.

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