State senator: Change how FDLE lists sex offenders at colleges

Florida records show over 100 registered sex offenders at South Florida universities, colleges

Published On: Feb 25 2013 02:50:53 PM EST   Updated On: Feb 25 2013 11:00:00 PM EST
Sex Offenders Web Tile
MIAMI -

A Florida state senator wants to change how the Florida Department of Law Enforcement publishes information regarding registered sex offenders who are students or employees at colleges, universities, or vocational schools.

State records show more than 100 registered sex offenders attend or work at institutes of higher education in South Florida.

Federal law requires registered sex offenders and predators to tell the state if they are students or employees at a college campus.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement sex offenders website allows searches by where registered sex offenders live -- but not by who is at a specific institution. 

"Students should get the information in the simplest way they can," said State Senator Eleanor Sobel, the chair of the Children, Families and Elderly Affairs Committee. "It's important. As a parent, I would like to know."

READ: Registered sex offenders at Florida schools
Local 10 only requested information regarding the schools listed in the above document. FDLE advises the information can change daily as the department isn't always notified when an offender leaves a school.

"It doesn't make any sense to me that you wouldn't be able to search by campus for sex offenders," said Jennifer Dritt, executive director of the Florida Council Against Sexual Violence.

Dritt would prefer FDLE publishes the information like the Texas Department of Public Safety, which allows a search of registered sex offenders by institute of higher education.

"This seems like something that wouldn't take a lot of money, (and) could very easily give people important information to improve their safety and decrease risk," added Dritt.

Sobel said she is willing to sponsor legislation changing how the database of registered sex offenders at college campuses is made available.

Officials with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement said a state statute must first be changed.