The U.S. Department of Justice’s Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) offers a free-to-the-public database, the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website. This resource allows a user to submit a single query to obtain information about sex offenders throughout the United States and can be used to identify registered sex offenders in your council service area. The BSA’s Youth Protection and Membership Standards teams encourage councils to be familiar with this resource in our ongoing efforts to keep not only Scouts but all youth safe.
Through the website, interested members of the public may search public information regarding the presence or location of offenders who, in most cases, have been convicted of sexually violent offenses against adults and children and certain sexual contact and other crimes against minors. You can use this website to educate yourself about the possible presence of such offenders in your local community.
The available search areas and information on this free public records database includes:
Individuals in this database may be specifically restricted from interacting directly with youth and/or may be subject to distance restrictions from schools, churches, and other places youth are known to congregate. While other restrictions may be applied by federal, state, county, or local criminal jurisdictions, simply being in close proximity to youth may be a violation of the registered offender’s probation/parole or community supervision requirements.
Consider bookmarking this site and provide it to your council’s professionals and Youth Protection champion. If you identify an individual with a possible conviction history, capture a screen shot and additional information, and confirm the individual’s identity as best you can. You can also check your local registered sex offender database for additional information, including a photo. In addition, you may contact the supervising agency listed to confirm and report the level of interaction, involvement, suspicion, or concern. While you may not have knowledge of abuse or suspicion of abuse by the individual, you may want to report their attempted involvement at your council directly to the local law enforcement and/or supervising agency.
If you have any questions about the procedures regarding registered sex offenders, you should contact the Membership Standards team. If there is a concern about abuse or grooming of Scouts in or out of the Scouting program, contact the Youth Protection director immediately for follow-up.