Suffolk County Sex Offender Address Verification Program Success
Significant Reduction in Registered Sex Offender Recidivism Rates in Suffolk County New York
In May of 2013, Parents for Megan’s Law (PFML) was contracted by the Suffolk County Police Department to implement an 8 Point Sex Offender Management Plan. The Plan includes, child and adult prevention education, community support (sex offender email alerts, sex offender registration tips and a 24 hour helpline) crime victim support services, and in person address verification and social networking monitoring. Working closely with the Suffolk County Police Department, PFML retired law enforcement staff conduct in-person verifications of Suffolk County registrants to ensure that the information provided is up to date and accurate. Work address information is verified while conducting home address verifications for Level 2 and Level 3 registrants.
Prior to implementation of the program, in the two years preceding, there were 6 hands on sex crimes committed by registered sex offenders against Suffolk County residents. In the two years preceding that period, there were also 6 hands on sex crimes committed by registered sex offenders against Suffolk residents. Since implementation of the PFML program (nearly 2 years), there were no hands on sex crimes committed by Suffolk registered sex offenders against Suffolk residents – representing a 100% reduction in recidivism. Note that the agency previously reported a 69.05% reduction but this was corrected - 1 arrest was from a 2008 offense (prior to implementation) and 1 arrest for a registrant committing an offense out of jurisdiction – not within Suffolk.
Evidence has demonstrated that sex offender registration failures are linked to recidivism. Research by the Washington State Institute for Public Policy found that sex offenders with a conviction for failure to register had higher rates of recidivism in all categories when compared to sex offenders without a conviction for a failure to register.  Failure to Register (FTR) sex offenders were 54% more likely to be convicted of another felony sex offense compared to non-FTR offenders (4.3% v. 2.8%), 68% were more likely to be convicted of any other felony compared to non-FTR’s (38.5% v. 22.9%) and 68% more likely to be convicted of a violent felony compared to non-FTR offenders (15.8% v. 9.4%).  © 2015 Laura A. Ahearn, L.M.S.W. Parents for Megan’s Law and the Crime Victims Center. Please cite directly to this website page. New York State Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives Research Bulletin: Sex Offender Populations, Recidivism and Actuarial Assessment, 2007. Available online at:
http://www.criminaljustice.ny.gov/opca/pdfs/somgmtbulletinmay2007.pdf. Last visited Nov. 25, 2014.