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What is the sex offender registry in Pennsylvania?

People who are convicted of sex offenses in Pennsylvania are often required to register on the sex offender registry. This registry is part of Pennsylvania's Megan's Law. It is maintained by the State Police using information that is provided by the registrants and other entities.

What is the purpose of a sex offender registry?

The sex offender registry is a public service that is meant to help alert the public when sex offenders are in their area. It is thought that this can help to prevent recidivist acts by the sex offender against members of the community because the community would be aware of the offender's past sex-related convictions.

Who is on the sex offender registry?

A person who lives in Pennsylvania and has committed certain sexual offenses must register. The law also provides for the registry of people who work, attend a school or are transient in the Commonwealth. There are several different sex offenses that can lead to a person being on the registry, but not everyone who has been convicted of a sex-related crime will have to register.

Is the registry always up-to-date?

There are instances in which the registry information might be out-of-date. It is possible that people who are registered will fail to update their information; however, failing to provide accurate information for the registry can result in new criminal charges being filed.

People who are required to register as a sex offender must uphold the standards they are given. Whether you are just learning about the sex-related charges against you or if you are already required to register, understanding your rights and responsibilities can help you to ensure that you are doing what you are required to do and that your rights are being respected.

Source: Pennsylvania State Police, "Megan's Law Website," accessed Nov. 10, 2015

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