• Registered sex offenders in Kansas: 4,572
• Sex offenders in compliance with registry: 92 percent
• Registered sex offenders in Douglas County: 81; 79 in compliance
Of the 688 sex offenders who have moved out of Kansas since 2006 (and stayed out of state):
• 77 have been deported.
• 113 are in prison in another state.
• 337 are registered in the state that the Kansas registry indicates they moved to.
• 161 are not registered in the state listed on the Kansas registry.
- The registry is updated daily, so the numbers may vary depending on the day. The above numbers were gathered on Sept. 6.
Michelle McMillin is on a first-name basis with most of the registered sex offenders in Saline County. McMillin, registry specialist with the Saline County Sheriff’s Office, is responsible for keeping an eye on the county’s 140 sex offenders legally required to register and check in four times per year.
“It’s kind of a one-on-one relationship,” said McMillin, who makes pre-emptive phone calls and sends deputies out to remind offenders that they need to check in with the office. Offenders late on their registration, which is a felony offense, might even get a visit from a deputy at their place of employment. McMillin said the office takes a proactive approach with the registry, as opposed to arresting an offender after a violation.
“It just seems like time better spent,” she said.
Looking at the numbers, McMillin’s efforts to keep sex offenders compliant have paid off.
Statewide, about 92 percent of sex offenders comply with registration requirements, but Saline County’s rate is above 99 percent, as only one of its 140 offenders is not compliant.
A Journal-World investigation found that compliance rates vary across the state, highlighting a disparity in how 105 Kansas counties enforce the law. For instance, in Ford County, the compliance rate for their 47 registered sex offenders is 74 percent.
In Greenwood County, only 11 of the county’s 16 offenders are in compliance. Douglas County, on the other hand, boasts a better-than-average compliance rate, with only two noncompliant offenders out of 81 offenders in the county.
How closely counties follow offenders is up to each sheriff’s office, said Nicole Dekat, public service administrator with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The KBI only maintains the registry and updates information that counties provide.
Over in Wyandotte County, which has an 81 percent compliance rate for its 432 sex offenders, it’s a lack of resources that keeps the county’s rate lower than the rest of the state, said Lt. Kelli Bailiff, spokesperson for the sheriff’s office.
With hundreds of offenders, it’s more difficult to track everyone down, and the county relies on certified letters as the first step if someone fails to register on time.
The county has just one employee dedicated to only monitoring sex offender registry compliance, so the county has to be creative with resources, Bailiff said.
The sex offender registry staff person is always on call and will head out to register an offender if they’re pulled over for a traffic stop.
“His phone rings all night long,” Bailiff said.