September 11, 2023 | Sex Offender Registry

Finally, Automated Sex Offender Registry Search for CRAs

As a background screening professional, you don’t need to be reminded that the information your consumer reporting agency (CRA) or background screening company provides carries a heavy burden. 

Employers, volunteer organizations, and families are counting on you to not only get it right, but to enable timely decisions with quick turnaround times. Perhaps no aspect of the typical background screening package matters more than an individual’s sex offender status. 

Understandably, end-users expect the utmost precision, comprehensiveness, and speed from sex offender registry searches — both to clear job applicants and volunteers to work among our most vulnerable populations and to ensure the safety of our workplaces, communities, and public spaces. 

Yet, as we explored in our last article, the conventional process for conducting a sex offender registry search is inefficient, inexact, and labor-intensive. 

The problem for CRAs (and their end-users) with sex offender searches 

Sex offender data is decentralized across an array of state, territorial, and tribal registries. The personally identifiable information (PII) available varies considerably from registry to registry. A nationwide search using the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website (NSOPW) can often result in dozens or hundreds of hits, each of which must be manually confirmed with a local registry — and all this must happen before the record is followed up at the county criminal level. 

Using a national criminal database is not any more accurate or less work intensive. These solutions do not generally include identifiers to report with maximum accuracy or avoid false positives, and it can take day, weeks or even months for hits to be validated. 

Until recently, CRAs had no alternative but to assign teams of researchers to do nothing all day but pursue PII on possible sex offenders. With each potential hit, the workload increased, and the turnaround time extended. 

But all that may soon come to an end thanks to a first-of-its-kind partnership between InformData, the background screening industry’s leading Direct-Source Data® provider, and OffenderWatch, the sex offender registry management solution trusted by thousands of law enforcement agencies nationwide. 

Finally, a real-time automated sex offender registry search is possible. Today, InformData is introducing SOR+TM, a sex offender registry search solution for CRAs built on the same data-sharing technology used by law enforcement agencies nationwide, capable of providing accurate, complete, and verified results within 24 hours. 

SOR+ all but eliminates manual processing of sex offender data 

An exclusive partnership with OffenderWatch powers SOR+. OffenderWatch works with more than 3,500 local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies in 38 states to develop solutions for sex offender registration, verification, and community notification. Law enforcement agencies rely on OffenderWatch’s technology to efficiently monitor, report, and collaborate on the sex offenders within their jurisdictions. 

SOR+ offers 100% coverage of jurisdictions in the United States with enhanced PII Matching offered in more than 50% of the nation through the OffenderWatch network. OffenderWatch is, by far, the most extensive and detailed sex offender registry system in the U.S. InformData is the first and only background screening data provider to gain exclusive, direct access to this network. This enables a vastly more efficient, reliable, and cost-effective sex offender registry search process for SOR+ users. 

Crucially for CRAs, SOR+ records contain more PII than is available through public state registries (or web-scraped data). When a search is run through SOR+, InformData’s AI-powered PII matching technology will go to work, directly interfacing with the OffenderWatch network to find results that match a given subject’s PII and filter out those that don’t. 

InformData’s search-and-match AI uses a proprietary algorithm to provide a minimum of two identifiers to ascertain that the results correlate to the person being searched. 

By giving CRAs access to the same detailed and consistent data law enforcement uses to track sex offenders between jurisdictions, SOR+ significantly reduces or altogether eliminates the need to scrutinize state, territorial, and tribal registry results manually. With SOR+, fewer county court follow-up searches lead to dead ends. 

SOR+ is faster and more conclusive than old trial-and-error methods. In fact, SOR+ results are available nearly instantly and eliminate all associated manual labor costs. 

Get started with SOR+ 

End users shouldn’t have to wait to keep their workplaces and communities safe, nor should job applicants and volunteers have to worry about false positives delaying their approval and threatening their reputation. With SOR+, your CRA or background screening company can finally deliver the confidence and turnaround time for sex offender registry searches your end users deserve. 

Click here to learn more about SOR+, an exclusive law enforcement-grade, near real-time sex offender background screening tool from InformData. 

Sex Offender Registry Search from InformData