Montana sEX offenders Search
State Sex Offender Search: Montana
Researchers may access Montana’s online state sex offender registry by visiting doj.state.mt.us and clicking on the appropriate link. This site, regulated by Montana’s Department of Justice and Attorney General, complies with federal laws that mandate each state to allow public access to its sex offender registry.
At the home page, click on the link for sexual and violent offender registry located on the menu on the right side of the screen. Look for a large blue button and click. Immediately you will be directed to the page for searching sexual offenders and predators. This page begins by stating its mission and purpose for this site: “to protect the public from sexual and violent offenders by requiring offenders to register with local law enforcement agencies in the jurisdiction where they reside. Information about these offenders is then made available to the public.”
Follow the text down the page and you will notice a link for a disclaimer that essentially the agency tries to ensure the accuracy and integrity of the information provided, but its records are not verified independently. Much of the information is provided by other agencies and the offenders themselves. Also, use of the site is for information and public awareness only. The public information contained in the records cannot be used to harass or harm individual offenders.
Interestingly, Montana’s site features a history section about the registry. The site explains that this registry began (off-line) in 1984 and continues to discuss the legislation that encouraged its evolution during subsequent years. Laws became stricter about registering sex offenders and about making specific sex offender records publicly-accessible.
The next section of the main page allows researchers to download the entire list. Downloading, however, is subject to a fee of $300. This is for Montana’s entire Sexual and Violent Offender Registry Database. However, you may simply search the site online for free. The next link provides access to a listing of non-compliant offenders. The final two links near the bottom of the page allow searchers to access the National Sex Offender Registry or the Montana Department of Corrections.
There is also a short menu on the right side of your screen. Researchers can click on the following links: Search for Offenders, Available Information, Parents and Educators, Offender Types and Tier Levels, Registration Requirements, Statistics and Reports, Notices, Contact the Registry, SVOR Download, and SVOR Home. To perform a basic search for sex offenders, click on the top button, Search for Offenders.
Montana allows the public to search by county, city, zip code, name, and by offender type. Each site may allow a less usual search. Nearly all state sex offender registry sites allow researchers to search by city and name. Some allow you to search by a specific locality such as a school or park. Montana is unusual for allowing researchers to search by offender type.
To perform a sample search, go to the data entry field labeled city. You may type in a Montana city or look to the right of the box and click on the drop down menu for a listing of Montana cities. Choose one from this list. When it appears in the data entry box, click on the search button. At this point, you will be directed to a page listing sex offenders by name (the name can be clicked on to enter their individual record). Beside each name, there is then a column listing the offender’s address, city, and offender type (Type 1 or Type 2). Each state categorizes its sexual offenders somewhat differently. Montana’s types are defined by the link for Offender Types and Tiers.
Researching the offender types and tiers are important because some types, under Montana law, can be listed on the registry but may not have their photos posted to the public. This, too, is unusual as many state registries post photos for their online records. In any case, Montana’s online registry will post photos that the public may view for: all level 3 sexual offenders, level 2 sexual offenders whose victims were under 16 years, any
offenders who are transients and cannot provide a permanent address and non-compliant registrants, whether sexual or violent.
Additionally, the search page features a section of tips for searching this online registry which may prove helpful for extensive searching. Mapping capability is also available on this site—though not as extensive as some interactive maps, it is, nevertheless, useful.
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