The number of registered sex offenders in Florida is rising at a dramatic rate, according to an article that appeared in the February 7, 2007 Orlando Sentinel.
Whereas the United States as a whole has seen a 23 percent increase in the number of registered sex offenders since 2006, Florida’s registry has increased by 74 percent, beating out its closest contenders, California and Texas, for the highest number of registered offenders relative the state’s population.
Florida has 307 registered sex offenders per 100,000 residents, compared with 284 for California and 271 for Texas.
Does this mean Floridians are more predisposed to committing sex crimes or that sex offenders are migrating to Florida? The answer to both questions is no. A more likely reason is a commitment to zealous law enforcement. Take for example, the fact that the 16-county Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, made up of 45 local, state, and federal agencies, conducted seven undercover operations and made 306 arrests in 2011 on sex crimes involving children.
Florida was among the first states to be found in compliance with the Justice Department’s 2006 Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, named for Adam Walsh, an Florida child who was abducted from a Florida shopping mall and later found murdered. The Act created a national registry of sex offenders.