Audit targets Kentucky sex offenders

Published: Oct. 1, 2010 at 12:16 AM CDT|Updated: Oct. 5, 2010 at 12:22 AM CDT
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By Jasmin Embers - bio | email
Posted by Adam Thiele - email

OWENSBORO, KY (WFIE) - The commonwealth of Kentucky is changing the way it keeps track of sex offenders.

An audit shows 30 offenders have the same address as a state regulated child care facility, causing several children's services to have to be shut down.

The audit ran between thirty and fifty thousand addresses throughout Kentucky, and alerted the Department of Community Based Services to make immediate changes.

Lori Main, Director Heritage Park Pre-school says, "I do think the number is high. This is not something you want to think about or just assume this issue is being taken care of by the proper officials."

Lori Main runs a pre-school and says she's surprised to hear of so many sex offenders slipping through the cracks, something Main says she takes seriously.

Main says, "A sex offender could walk through the door and would not know, it could be a grandparent, a foster parent."

The Kentucky Auditor's Office says some foster and childcare services have stopped after the audit found sex offenders living in the homes, now the Department of Community Based Services will strengthen the screening and monitoring process.

Patricia Wilson of the Commissioner Dept. Community Based Services says, "We are taking the appropriate actions from what was we learned about. I can't divulge specifics because those families are whom we are involved."

Commissioner Patricia Wilson says the agency does conduct criminal and child abuse and neglect checks to anyone providing state regulated foster, childcare or kinship services to children, but will now use the sex offender registry during the time of application and renewal.

Wilson says, "We'll be building upon the foundation that's already there, working with Kentucky State Police on some enforcement to see sex offender registry to make it a quicker tool to use."

Main says she also runs those checks on her employees but says more can be done on the state and local level.

Main says, "What I would like to see happen is local law enforcement would make child care centers and schools and hospitals and nursing homes aware if a sex offender is living within five miles of a facility."

The Department for Community Based Services says the new policies are being put in place now, including sending out more information on how to use the sex offender registry.

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