KOLD Investigates: Audit finds issues with state’s sex offender

KOLD Investigates: DPS data problems
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 8:07 PM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - The state auditor has found problems with Arizona’s sex offender website, which is run by DPS.

On the sex offender information page of Arizona DPS’ portal, it states that DPS is responsible for maintaining the sex offender website and verifying the name, address and photograph of each sex offender in Arizona on a daily basis.

However, documents released in the Arizona Auditor General report show that there are issues.

The AG office sampled a few dozen of the nearly 15,000 sex offenders.

Here are some of the key findings:

  • 2 of 33 offenders SHOULD have been included on the website, but they were not
  • 3 of 12 should NOT have been included, but they were
  • DPS did not update photos for 2 of 15 sex offenders that it reviewed

All of this is required by law, and not publishing or updating sex offender information prevents the public from taking steps to protect themselves at home, work and schools.

DPS agreed to all of the findings and recommendations to fix the issues.

But, this isn’t the only audit that’s uncovered problems.

The state auditor also examined the Central Repository of Criminal History Records.

The report reveals nearly a fifth of felony offense records they reviewed were missing.

That could impact criminal investigations and keep employers like schools and childcare facilities in the dark about their criminal histories.

DPS says the backlog existed partly because it lacks staff and resources to enter the records, and the department needs to prioritize other responsibilities.

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