Oregon We Have a Problem

Oregon NewsOregon has a serious problem.  Oregon is not the most densely populated state in the nation.  It’s not even the most populous state on the west coast.  But Oregon has more sex offenders per capita than any other state in the country.

According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, Oregon has 713 sex offenders per 100,000 residents. Nationwide, the average is only 262 offenders per 100,000 people.  Oregon’s population is nearly 4 million, with 28,500 sex offenders living in the state.

That isn’t the worst of it.  98 percent of Oregon’s sex offenders are not registered on any public list and thousands are not complying with the law.

“Our sex offender laws are very weak compared to most states,” Portland Police Officer Bridget Sickon told KATU recently.  Weak laws and difficulties with state agencies tracking and monitoring sex offenders leads to a huge problem.  According to the KATU investigation, “About 2,000 of Oregon’s sex offenders are labeled ‘predatory,’ the worst of the worst.  But only about 25 percent of them are now listed publicly.”

Oregon only provides a partial listing of its sexual predators to the public.  In fact, only about two percent of its nearly 29,000 sex offenders are listed on its public sex offender registry.  In comparison, Idaho lists 100% of its sex offenders.

Transparency isn’t the only problem in Oregon.  Only 21% of sex offenders are in compliance with court orders.  The state police are in charge of sex offender registry and they blame part of the problem on a lack of modern technology.

Has Oregon become a haven for sexual offenders?  Do sexual offenders from other states move to Oregon to escape detection?  The numbers don’t lie and they paint a gloomy picture for a state that must do better to protect its citizens, especially its children.  Local and state government have a duty to fix this problem immediately.

Dumas and Vaughn Attorneys at Law has law offices in Portland, Oregon and serves clients in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and other states.

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