GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Nearly nine months after the state made court-ordered changes to the sex offender registry, there’s still a lot of confusion and questions about enforcement.
Michigan State Police say they are not enforcing violations of the law, which is meant to track offenders, while other agencies are.
The registry includes more than 40,000 names.
The confusion started a few years back when a federal judge, in response to a lawsuit filed by the University of Michigan Law Clinical Program and the American Civil Liberties Union, ruled parts of the sex offender registry unconstitutional.
Among the flaws: requiring sex offenders to immediately report whenever they moved, got a new car or got a new phone number; and banning sex offenders from living or loitering within 1,000 feet of schools.
The school safety zone was important to Jessica Monteith and her daughter, who was 11 when the 40-year-old father of a school friend molested her in 2010.
“Knowing that sex offenders were not allowed on school property was almost a sigh of relief for her,” the mom said of her daughter.
The state responded to the federal court ruling with a new sex offender registry law in December 2020.
It eliminated the 1,000-foot school safety zones.