Missouri is reviewing whether to update its sex offender registry requirements for those who are convicted of committing crimes against children and the mentally disabled. A Senate committee is considering the public safety bill, sponsored by Representative Justin Hicks of Lake St. Louis.
“It amends the sex offender list to ensure that individuals that have committed child sex crimes are classified as tier three offenders, which would equal a lifetime registration requirement,” he says. “It codifies the language from that was rolled on in January from the Supreme Court as far as if you meet the federal requirements for registration and it equals a lifetime registration in Missouri and that is due to funding requirements here in the state.”
From a public safety standpoint, Hicks says the big issue is the number of people that are not registering to be on the list.
“The main reason, overall, though, is that we need to make sure that we’re protecting kids here in the state of Missouri, and child sex offenders have a recidivism rate of, I believe it’s 23% in the state, and usually when child sex offences are actually prosecuted and reported, there’s already been multiple child sex offenses have already happened from that individual,” Hicks says.