Funds are available through the Attorney General’s Office to help sheriffs extradite unregistered sex offenders who have fled the state.
The program, funded by a U.S. Department of Justice grant, is called SORN NET, short for Sex Offender Registration Network Nationwide Extradition Team. It covers up to $2,000 in expenses per trip — including transportation, lodging, meals, and other allowable costs — when local authorities travel out of state to retrieve a sex offender who has failed to register.
To take advantage of the reimbursement, sheriffs’ offices should:
- Contact Kurt Shearer or Cindy Peterman at the Bureau of Criminal Identification and Investigation, 740-845-2100.
- Provide the name and location of the sex offender being extradited and, if desired, seek additional investigative assistance or intelligence from BCI.
- Complete the extradition and, upon returning, provide all applicable receipts and documentation to BCI, Deputy Superintendent of Investigations Kurt Shearer, P.O. Box 365, London, OH 43140.
The current program runs through March 2012 or until grant funds are exhausted.
Under a recent change in the grant, the Attorney General’s Office is now able to cover expenses related to the extradition of any unregistered sex offender regardless of classification.
The grant also funded an alert system that sends automated messages to sex offenders prior to the date they need to re-register.
The system, which became operational at the end of 2010, sends phone and/or e-mail messages to sex offenders five days before their scheduled registration date. The messages are automatically formatted as if to come from the sheriff in the offender’s county of residence.
Sheriffs then receive a report noting whether the phone numbers provided by offenders were incorrect or had been disconnected as well as whether an e-mail message bounced back.
An early test of the alert system found that 15 percent of the phone numbers offenders provided were invalid.