and are both reporting that the Johnson County Sheriff’s Office, in Kansas City, Missouri, has created a public-facing offender map. The map plots the addresses and workplaces of sex offenders as well as those convicted of other violent offenses or drug offences. As well, the map shows a mug shot of the individual named and a list of their offenses. The map was created from Goolge Maps, and allows members of the public to search offenders by name and address.

Sheriff Frank Denning said, “The public has a right to this information, and I want to make it easy and user-friendly for them . . . . This mapping system is easy to use and will assist any person in locating offenders living or working close to them.”

Personally, this type of map makes me slightly uncomfortable. I realize that registered sex offenders’ names, addresses, and photos are readily available on any state’s registered sex offender website; however, I worry about those individuals who were convicted of a drug charge or violent offense who have paid their debt to society and are now being paraded around in public. Because the map only publishes the offense and not the date or location of the offense, the public might get the wrong impression of these people. If I were convicted of drug possession in 1985, served my sentence, and now live a clean and sober life, should I be paraded in pubic as a menace to society for something I did as a kid over 20 years ago? I think a map of this type raises some serious ethical questions and could possibly drudge up history that may do more harm than good to both the offender and the public.

What do you think? Leave a comment.