How to search NJ’s internet registry of 4,000+ sex offenders
More than 4,600 individuals make up the New Jersey Sex Offender Internet Registry that you can search by name or location, but it does not include every registered sex offender in the state.
When you search for registered offenders in any area, the results you'll get are the offenders who are considered to be the biggest risk to the public.
Who is on New Jersey's sex offender registry?
There is a difference between registering for Megan's Law and being on New Jersey's sex offender registry.
Once a prosecutor's office receives a Megan's Law registration from local police, prosecutors determine one's risk to the community (the likelihood that the offender will commit another crime).
Sex offenders are then classified in one of three tiers based on risk: low risk (Tier 1), moderate risk (Tier 2), and high risk (Tier 3).
Tier 1 offenders — the individuals who are believed to pose the least risk to the public — are not on the public registry, but law enforcement agencies are aware of them.
According to the New Jersey State Police, the law limits the information to be placed on the Internet to all Tier 3 offenders and some Tier 2 offenders. The law excludes all juvenile sex offenders, except for Tier 3 juvenile sex offenders, as well as most moderate risk offenders whose crimes were committed against members of their families or households.
According to NJSP, offenses that require registration under Megan's Law include aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault, aggravated criminal sexual contact, promoting prostitution of a child, endangering the welfare of a child through acts involving pornography featuring a child, luring or enticing, and kidnapping, among others.
The registry also includes people who are currently incarcerated for their crimes.
How to search New Jersey's sex offender registry
When searching for sex offenders in your area, you can type in your or any exact address and find offenders within a five-mile radius.
You also have the option to search by name, or you can enter only a municipality and see any offender on the registry who lives in that city or town.
What information is on New Jersey's sex offender registry?
At a minimum, you're likely to see an offender's photo, full name, and address when you click on an entry.
Other features on an offender's page include their age and physical description, as well as any aliases that may have been used by the offender. Depending on the entry, you may be able to see the exact crime(s) for which they've been convicted, and when the conviction(s) occurred.
What you CAN'T do with information on New Jersey's sex offender registry
Before you begin a search, you must click a button that acknowledges that anyone who misuses the information on the registry — to harass or threaten an offender, for example — may be subject to criminal prosecution or civil liability.
"Vigilantism is not only a crime, it is an action that will undermine the efforts of those who have worked hard to enact this law," the State Police website says.