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Please take a moment to read our
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ).



Family Watchdog makes no representation, implied or expressed, that all information placed on this web site is accurate. The information that is used to report on this site derives from official public records. Some of the official data is gathered from the offenders themselves who are required by law to report their current address to law enforcement officials.

Information contained on this site provides no representation as to any offender's likelihood of re-offending or the nature of any future crimes they may commit.

Harassment, stalking, or threatening anyone on this list likely violates your state law and is neither condoned nor encouraged by Family Watchdog, its directors or employees.

Your continued use of this site constitutes understanding of these provisions.

What is Family Watchdog?


Family Watchdog allows you to see where registered sexual offenders live and work around you and your family.

Is there a cost to use Family Watchdog?


There is no fee associated with looking up offender and viewing maps. You can also sign up to receive free email alerts. None of the services provided by Family Watchdog will cost you a dime! If you see that you are being charged, check your bill and make sure its not from FamilyWatchdog.COM

How long has Family Watchdog been available?


Family watchdog has been in production since August 25, 2005.

What else does Family Watchdog do?


Family Watchdog can proactively notify you when a registered sexual predator moves within five miles of your given address. Family Watchdog can also track offenders and send you notifications if the specified offender has had a change.

Why is sex offender information public?


Megan's Law is designed to provide information and notification to communities when potentially dangerous sex offenders moves into the neighborhood. The nature of the notification varies significantly from state to state, and even sometimes from community to community within a state. However, as a result of the system, every state now attempts to keep track of the residence of sex offenders, and to provide information to the public.

What addresses can I choose for notifications?


You may use any address that you would like! Home. School. Church. Playground. Daycare center. A parent or grandparents house... Use the address that is most important to you!

How will you notify me?


Our service uses email as a primary notification mechanism. If you don't have an email address. We do NOT send direct mail information at any time.

I moved, how do I change my address?


You can log into your account using your username and password. From there you can modify your address by clicking the little pencil icon. And viola!, your address will be changed and saved.

There is an offender registered at MY address. That person does NOT live here.


This offender may not have reported that they moved. You will need to contact the state registry that maintains this offender's information. Click on the convictions tab for this offender. You will find the source of the information. Please contact that registry to update the information. If you need any assistance contacting the state's registry email our customer service and they can help.

How often do you update?


We update our site daily and for some states multiple times daily. When a change is made, our site updates in about 24 hours.

What is non mappable offender?


Non mappable offenders means that we cannot map them. We may not have a full address for the offender or our geocoder does not recognize the address. You can view information about the nonmappable offender under the List tab, located just above the map. You can go to the filter and then click non-mappables to only view those not included on the map.

Why are the maps not showing my area?


We currently get our maps from Google maps. They update every 6 months or so. We update when they do. So if you live on a new street or addition, they might not have you on their maps- Which means we will not either.

Is everyone on Family Watchdog a sexual predator?


No, some states include violet and/or drug offenders on their registry. You would have to look at the specific person to see what the offense is.

What do i tell my children about the offenders near my home?


Avoid scary details. Keep information general, explain the importance of avoiding dangerous situations, rather than trying to teach they to be safe from just the one person you know about.
•  DONT accept a ride from a stranger.
•  DONT go into the home or yard of a stranger.
•  TELL your parents if a stranger offers you toys, money, gifts or candy.
•  TRY to use the buddy system when children play outdoors.
•  CALL 911 if your parents are not around and a stranger approaches you


Can you include juvenile offenders on Family Watchdog?


If a juvenile offender is included in the state's online registry then we will be able to include them. If their information is not available online then we can not have it online.

What are the risk levels?


The numeric risk level indicates the level of risk a sex offender poses to the community. A numeric risk level is assigned to each sex offender when the offender is released from a penal institution or placed on community supervision or juvenile probation. It is determined by using the sex offender screening tool adopted by the Risk Assessment Review Committee. There are three different risk levels:
•  Level one (low): indicates that the person poses a low danger to the community and will not likely engage in criminal sexual conduct.
•  Level two (moderate): indicates that the person poses a moderate danger to the community and may continue to engage in criminal sexual conduct.
•  Level three (high): indicates that the person poses a serious danger to the community and will continue to engage in criminal sexual conduct.


Do all people convicted of a sex offense have to register?


Only offenders who were convicted after 1970 and were still under some type of supervision on September 1, 1997. Many people convicted of sex crimes before this date do not have to register. Judges may exempt some if the law allows.

How long do offenders have to register for?


It depends on the state laws the offender was convicted in, the laws in the jurisdiction they are living, and the offence. Also, if they are a juvenile it will change the amount of time they have to register.

What do the colors on the map mean?


If you look on the top left side of the map of your area you will notice there is a "map legend" key. If you click that it will drop down with the colors and what they mean.

House- map center
White box with "X"- School/park/daycare/etc.

offences against children:
red- offender home
dark red- offender other

rapes:
yellow- offender home
gold- offender other

sexual battery:
blue- offender home
dark blue- offender other

other offenses:
green- offender home
dark green- offender other

Can an offender live with a child or near a school?


Laws regarding where a sex offender can live vary by state. Many states require that a sex offender live at least 500-1000 feet from a school. Few require that they live further than this. Some say that the offender can only be at a school if dropping off his/her own child. You can check with your county sheriff for the law in your area, and they can make sure that the offenders are within their legal right to live there.

Are there registered sexual offenders that are not in your database?


Unfortunately, yes. Our service relies on publicly available data. If an offender moves and does not report to the county sheriff in which they reside, we will not know that they have moved.

There is someone listed in my neighborhood or at work that is not there anymore and you still show them at that address. Why?


Our service relies on publicly available data. If a sexual offender moves and does not report their address change, we will not know that they have moved.

Why does the little marker for the offender show up in the wrong place on the map?


We determine the offender's address on the map using census data. We find that at times an address can be 100 meters or more off which would be about 1 city block off as drawn on a map. We are working on this issue, and if you notice that an address is off, please email our customer service.

If I know of an offender that is not on your database, should I contact you?


No. Please contact your local police or sheriff department. A registered sexual offender that fails to report commits a felony, and can be returned to prison.

If you believe that information on this web site is incorrect please contact your local police department in which you believe the error to be. They will be able to assist you directly or by referring you to the appropriate authority. We ARE NOT police officers and we DO NOT work directly with any government agencies. If you feel it is an error on our behalf, please contact us through our "contact us" form.

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