A study funded by the United States Justice department and conducted at Utica College concluded that at least 1 in 6 sex offenders are living a double life. The study found that roughly 92,000 of the 570,000 registered sex offenders have changed their names, social security numbers, birthdays, job history and other personally identifying information. This way, a sex offender may live as they want like any other random person but still meet he requirements of the US Judicial system without known being the wiser.
Don Rebovich, a Utica professor who directed the study said, "These are offenders who are flying under the radar and authorities don't know it. The authorities really don’t have the resources to keep on checking on these people. Offenders find where the vulnerabilities are in the system and exploit them."
The study continued on to find that an average of about 16.2% of sex offenders manipulate their personal information to avoid detection. However, in the states of Delaware, District of Colombia, Louisiana, Washington State, Nevada, and Tennessee had a rates over 25%!
Probably the most common case of sex offender identity manipulation is the one of convicted sex offender Frank Kuni who changed his name to Jamie Shepard and then actually got a job at the US Census Office in New Jersey. Kuni was discovered by a Pennsauken mother after he knocked on her door to take a census. He looked familiar to her so she called police soon after his visit. Kuni was sentenced to another 3 years in prison. The case caught international attention and created fears of census workers around the nation.
Many other sex offenders completely disappear from law enforcement's eyes and only take under the table cash only jobs such as in construction or dishwashers only to escape public reticule once they register. Another trick sex offenders are doing is registering a very cheap apartment as their residence but actually living at another or with a family members. Some registered addresses have come up to be false all together and lead to nowhere but an empty warehouse.
Roughly 40% of law enforcement agencies around the nation reported they had no problem with sex offenders eluding registration or whereabouts. This draws one to conclude that either police are not doing enough to stay on top of what is going on or sex offenders have become too good at eluding police.
Many US agencies are challenging this study saying the systems used to track sex offenders are fingerprint based so even if they are using aliases, they can not run away from a unique fingerprint. However, many lead a double life, appearing as one person to law enforcement and appearing as another to jobs, neighbors, and the general public.
Criminals will always come up with ways to beat the system. Perfecting the system will always be a work in progress and as long as there is a system there will be violators of that system. Currently there are too many sex offenders to efficiently track them some departments are handed thousands of offenders for every one police officer. Checking up on each one is a task that could cost millions of dollars just to do once.