By Ohio law, each Sheriff is responsible for the registration of sex offenders who register on scheduled periodic basis, which is determined by their sex offender Tier classification. Offenders must also register any change of residence, place of employment, or enrollment in a school or institution of higher education with the County Sheriff. The Sheriff’s Office is required to conduct yearly housing compliance checks on each offender.
There are currently 221 active sex offenders required to register in Clark County. Housing compliance checks in 2019 resulted in nine subjects being arrested or a warrant issued for failure to register (all 3rd and 4th degree felonies). To date, three of those nine subjects have not been located-see attached wanted flyers.
Sheriff Burchett recognized a need to step up efforts to hold sex offenders accountable, so the Sheriff’s Office applied for and was awarded a $150,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice-Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking (S.M.A.R.T.). Over the next three years, the Sheriff’s Office will use these funds to enhance its efforts to monitor registered sex offenders and expand community education and prevention programs in Clark County.
The project plan includes coordination of a task force that will conduct quarterly housing compliance checks of all registered sex offenders in Clark County. To make this possible, the Sheriff’s Office is partnering with the Clark County Municipal Court Probation Office and the Clark County Common Pleas Probation Office to assist with the housing checks and hold offenders accountable. The Sheriff’s Office will purchase additional equipment for verification activities to ensure up-to-date information is easily accessible on all sex offenders. Also, training and educational literature will be provided to residents related to sex offender registration, notification and management of sex offenders.