Kansas universities vary on sex offender registry policy

Kansas universities vary on sex offender registry policy
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An inside look at the six state universities in Kansas reveals that only two of the schools make information regarding registered sex offenders available online (KU and KSU). Pittsburg State and the other three schools turn those interested toward the campus police office.

Often as part of a sentence or conviction, sex offenders have to register with the state, county and even the school. A registered sex crime does not restrict admittance to a university.

“The whole idea of them registering is that it makes the public more aware. Who they are. What they have done,” Crawford County Sheriff Dan Peak said. The county handles sex offender registry.

Currently at PSU, there are seven sex offenders working or taking classes.

“It’s public information and its available at anyone’s request. All you have to do is come to the office and we’ll be glad to share it,” Mike McCracken, director of PSU police said.

McCracken explains that some on the list are registered by number due to an ongoing court order that maintains privacy.

But do students even care? Only two to three people come in each semester to check out the list.

“I think it goes both ways, sometimes people just don’t want to know. They just want to feel like they’re safe and they don’t want to know anything about it, or they might look at that person differently, if they’re in that class with them. Others don’t care,” junior Ellie Fritts said.

Fritts works in the campus police office. In her time as a student worker, she has never had someone come ask for the list.

Policies depend on the institution’s preference. McCracken does not see PSU changing their policy any time soon unless there is a change to the law.

Information on offenders is available at Crawford County Sheriff’s Office website http://crsoks.org/ and the KBI’s website http://www.accesskansas.org/kbi/ro.shtml