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 > Little League Online > Media > Little League News Archive > 2006 > U.S. Department of Justice Launches National Sex Offender Public Registry

U.S. Department of Justice Launches National Sex Offender Public Registry

Local Little Leagues can use registry for background checks
WILLIAMSPORT, Pa. (March 15, 2006) – A new tool is available to assist local leagues in completing required volunteer background checks.

Properly used, the National Sex Offender Public Registry meets Little League minimum requirements for background checks. The registry, coordinated by the Department of Justice, is a cooperative effort between the federal government and the states that host public sexual offender registries. The registry features a web-based search tool allowing the user to submit a single national query to obtain information about sex offenders.

“Little League commends the Department of Justice and Attorney General Alberto Gonzales on taking this important step,” Stephen D. Keener, president and chief executive officer of Little League Baseball and Softball, said. “Little League is proud to be the only national youth baseball and softball organization that mandates these checks, and remains committed to providing its volunteers with the means to make Little League a safer program for children worldwide.”

There are a number of search options available on the National Sex Offender Public Registry site, including searches by name, zip code, county (if provided by the state), and city or town (if provided by the state). However users performing searches for Little League purposes cannot choose these options, as they do not meet the minimum requirement under the Little League regulations.

Instead, users must select the “state-search” option on the site in order to meet Little League’s minimum standards. Further, Little League International recommends that leagues select the “national-search” option which will exceed the minimum requirement, as it checks state except Oregon and South Dakota. Those states are expected to be added by the end of the year.

The criteria for searching are limited to the information available in each individual state. Also, because information is hosted by each state and not by the federal government, search results should be verified by the user in the state where the information is posted. In other words, if a user has questions or needs further information about the results of a check, he or she is advised to log on to individual state’s sex offender registry for clarification and/or guidance. Those individual state registries are listed on the federal National Sex Offender Public Registry site.

For more information, or to perform a search, go to http://www.nsopr.gov.

While the Department of Justice National Sex Offender Registry is a great improvement over individual state sexual offender registries, Little League International strongly recommends that leagues utilize LexisNexis to perform background checks. LexisNexis currently conducts a nationwide check in all states except Hawaii and South Dakota. (Hopefully options for these two states will be available by the end of April 2006).

LexisNexis includes information regarding not only sex based offenses, but also includes data regarding additional criminal convictions in various states. LexisNexis is available to leagues at http://littleleague.choicepoint.com and costs $1.50 per name checked.