New policy requires deputies to review background of all arrestees, check for registry compliance
Rule prompted by July rape
Last Updated: 231 days ago
INDIANAPOLIS - A new program gives police increased oversight of convicted sex offenders in Marion County.
So far, the policy change has resulted in additional charges against individuals who have failed to comply with the sex offender registry.
The new policy requires sheriff's deputies to review the criminal history of every individual arrested in Marion County, and if the arrestee is a convicted sex offender, that review includes whether they're in compliance with the sex offender registry.
Junior McLennon, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, became the first inmate ever in Marion County charged as a federal sex offender
After his arrest three days ago, deputies learned he had numerous warrants for violating the sex offender registry in New Jersey.
"Now that we've implemented this policy, it's eye opening that these folks are here," said Mike Hubbs, with the MCSO. "And we've had several people that we've filed charges against who are from out of state and who should not have been here, and we've caught them."
Hubbs said since the new rule has been in place, the sheriff's department has been conducting about two to three of the new investigations each day.
While the numbers fluctuate from week to week, Marion County has approximately 1,400 registered sex offenders, convicted felons who, by law, are required to notify the sheriff's department of any change in home address, work address or change in education status.
"It's an excellent way to ensure compliance," Hubbs said. "And also, with the responses that we average, (we've) netted over 14 felony arrests since this change in policy."
The sheriff instituted the tougher review in the wake of a July incident in which a registered sex offender was released from the Marion County Jail, even though he may have violated his offender registration in another county.
Days later, he was arrested for a rape in Johnson County.
Marion County sheriff's officials said the new policy would not have prevented his release.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.