Ark. Sex Offender Registry Goes Digital

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Arkansas Crime Information Center (ACIC) launched the new online Centralized Electronic Network of Sex Offender Registries (CENSOR) system to enable local law enforcement officers and the Department of Corrections to electronically register sex offenders.

Officers can also conduct a sex offender’s scheduled verifications or change information through the new online system, which was developed with a federal grant that equips local law enforcement agencies with an electronic signature pad and web camera.

The CENSOR system generates the registration forms automatically from the information entered by the registering official so there are no paper forms to fax or mail to ACIC. Because sex offender registrations can now be submitted electronically to the ACIC system, the assessment process can start immediately, reducing the time it takes to register an offender, according to the ACIC.

“This new system gives us a sex-offender registration process that is faster and safer, and saves our taxpayers money,” said Governor Mike Beebe. “Along with notifying the public sooner, the system also increases accountability for offenders, giving law-enforcement agencies more confidence in tracking those who are living in their communities.”

“This system will save the state approximately $55,000 by eliminating the notices sent to offenders via certified mail every six months,” said Brad Cazort of the Arkansas Crime Information Center.

The CENSOR system provides up-to-date information about the offender. Law enforcement officers enter the offender’s demographic information to start the registration process. Once all of the offender’s information is entered into CENSOR, the officer is prompted to capture the offender’s photo via a web camera. For each subsequent visit, a current photo is displayed to the officer and a new photo is captured. These photos are also posted to the ACIC Sex Offender Registry for public viewing.

“ACIC has been able to achieve this remarkable advancement in the management of our state’s sex offender registry due in large part to our partnership with the Information Network of Arkansas and their understanding that one of our primary objectives and goals is to provide technology and tools to make the jobs of law enforcement easier,” said Danny Ormand, director of ACIC.

In order to hold sex offenders more accountable, the CENSOR system automatically prepares the official documents for the officer and the offender to sign electronically via a signature pad. Offenders are provided with the signed documents with the date they are required to report back to the law enforcement office for their next verification visit, according to ACIC.

The Information Network of Arkansas is a collaborative effort between the state of Arkansas and Arkansas Information Consortium that helps state government entities web-enable their information services. Arkansas Information Consortium is a Little Rock-based subsidiary of the eGovernment firm, NIC.

NIC provides official government websites, online services and secure payment processing products to more than 3,000 federal, state, and local governments across the U.S.