ANNAPOLIS - The Governor's Office of Crime Control & Prevention today announced it is distributing almost $729,000 in grants to local jurisdictions to monitor sex offender compliance.
A total of $728,916 has been awarded to all 23 counties and Baltimore City under the Sex Offender Compliance and Enforcement in Maryland (SOCEM) grant program. The 24 designated law enforcement agencies in these jurisdictions are responsible for the registration and compliance enforcement of sexual offenders on the Maryland Sex Offender Registry (SOR). Currently there are 7,990 individuals on Maryland's SOR.
Under the registry, offenders found guilty of the most serious offenses such as first and second degree rape, are required to re-register every three months for the rest of their lives. They are under the constant supervision of specially trained, multi-disciplinary teams throughout Maryland, known as COM/ET (Collaborative Offender Management/Enforced Treatment).
Those guilty of less serious offenses are required to register every six months for 25 years or annually for 15 years, depending on the severity of their crime. Offenders who say they are homeless are required to check in with local law enforcement once a week and let the authorities know where they can be found.
The funds will assist law enforcement agencies in their duties of registration, compliance verification, and enforcement. Agencies can use the funds for expenses including personnel costs and expenses for equipment such as hardware and software.