Vermont’s Sex Offender Registry was established in 1996. Until last fall between 3 and 400 offenders were classified as dangerous enough to be listed online.
But after the murder in 2008 of twelve-year old Brooke Bennett, public outcry for stiffer sex offender legislation led to a dramatic expansion of the sex offender registry.
Act 58, approved in June 2009, greatly expanded the number of offenses that require online registry. As a result, more than 2600 names are now online.
But, in June, a review of the registry released by the state auditor revealed that the registry is riddled with errors. There were cases where people who should have been listed were not. In other cases, names were included in the registry when they should not have been.
Tom Trembly is Vermont’s Public Safety Commissioner. He spoke with VPR’s Jane Lindholm about how the Sex Offender Registry works and what is being done to fix the errors the audit uncovered.