Job info to be added to sex offender registry

DALLAS, TX The changes will also let people sign up for e-mail alerts when an offender moves into their neighborhood.

"I'm being told spring," before it is ready, said Tela Mange, spokeswoman for the Texas Department of Public Safety, which runs the registry. "Spring runs through June."

The Web site now provides each offender's name, date of birth, home address, a physical description and photo. It also includes the crime committed and the victim's age and gender.

While some say that offering the offenders' job information will be an additional crime-fighting tool, others worry that making places of employment easily accessible could harm offenders who are trying to succeed.

"The more information people have about who may potentially have access to their children, the better that is," Mange said.

State Attorney General Greg Abbott has said employment status and location for registered sex offenders are public information.

Helga Dill, chairwoman of Texas Citizens United for Rehabilitation of Errants, said that posting specific information about jobs could be potentially "devastating."

She said that convicted felons already have difficulty finding jobs, but when the information is public, "these employers are not going to even look at the capability of this offender."

Rebecca Bernhardt, director of policy development for the American Civil Liberties Union of Texas, said the fundamental issue is whether providing employment information "makes us more safe or less safe."

"If it leads to offenders losing their jobs, that's destabilizing -- even in anybody's life. And if we're concerned about the risk of folks re-offending, being less connected, not having gainful employment, not having a roof over your head -- these are things that put people in a more vulnerable position if they're susceptible to having run-ins with the law."

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