Every US state has a registry for sex offenders. Utah is taking that concept to a new level.
The state has unveiled a first of its kind database for white-collar criminals that lawmakers say is intended to increase public safety.
“This registry has been a goal of mine for years and will further equip citizens to protect themselves from financial fraud by making information much more accessible in this digital age,” Utah Attorney general Sean D. Reyes said. “A simple search cold curtail a fraudulent investment and save an entire nest egg.”
The database, complete with mug shots, previewed weeks ago and includes around 100 listings. When you first visit the site, a “Registry Disclaimer” pops up with a message that the state “does not guarantee the website’s accuracy or completeness.” The disclaimer also says “members of the public are not allowed to use the information to harass or threaten offenders or members of their families.”
Utah’s registry is one of a growing number of state-sponsored databases that shame people listed in them.
According to The Wall Street Journal:
In addition to the 50 states that publicly track sex offenders, five states including California require registration for arson. Minnesota, Illinois and six others maintain lists of methamphetamine producers.
In Indiana, a public website lets visitors use Google Maps to find the location of homes that have been used as meth laboratories.
Tennessee requires registration for animal abuse—something nine other state legislatures are debating.
Florida law requires registration by anyone convicted of a felony of any kind for up to five years after completing the sentence.
Utah’s white-collar database is expected to grow to 230 people in the coming months.
The database is also set to include those convicted of financial felonies beginning in 2006. Names generally stay on the list for 10 years for first-time offenders.
Another offense adds another 10 years and third-time offenders remain on the database permanently. Utah lawmakers passed legislation creating the website last year.