As of November 1, sex offenders residing with a minor child must now report to the statewide centralized Oklahoma Department of Human Services (DHS) hotline. Previously, only the parent, stepparent or grandparent of a minor had to report to the hotline. Sen. Adam Pugh, R-Edmond, authored the bill at the request of DHS to better protect all of Oklahoma’s children.
“This was an oversight in our law that needed to be addressed to ensure law enforcement and DHS are aware of who sex offenders are living with when it comes to minors,” Pugh said. “Given changing relationships, financial or health circumstances, a sex offender may live in multiple locations but it’s important that the authorities always know if there are minors in the home. Having this information will help these agencies better protect those youth should the need arise and hold sex offenders more accountable.”
Offenders are required to report to the hotline within three days of moving. Failing to report to DHS is a felony offense punishable by one to three years in the Department of Corrections’ (DOC) custody.
According to DOC, there are currently 7,050 registered sex offenders in the state.