October 17, 2014

Confidential List of Sex Offenders Tracked by Maryland State Investigators

Two facts are important here: 1) It is not a secret list, instead the list is of folks on parole or probation, that state agency is required to know who they supervise, hence their working list. 2) It is a misstatement to say these folks are a "Higher Risk" to the community. These folks are finishing their sentence and that does not mean they are a higher risk to the community. All of these folks would appear on the regular registry if their crimes so warranted it. And this is true of every state in the nation it is a normal function of folks on parole and probation and the agency that monitors them.
10-17-2014 Maryland:

Maryland state investigators are closely monitoring more than 2,000 of the state’s 9,000 registered sex offenders, according to an investigation by the News4 I-Team -- including monthly home visits, polygraph exams and reviews of the offenders’ computers.

The offenders include some of the most violent sexual criminals in the state and some of the state’s most recently convicted criminals. They are getting the extra monitoring in an effort to reduce the risk of the offenders committing additional sex crimes.

Records obtained from Maryland’s Division of Parole and Probation show 2,133 registered sex offenders are being regularly monitored by state agents. The agency monitoring program, known internally as the Collaborative Offender Management Enforced Treatment program, or COMET, deploys state agents across Maryland to visit and question sex offenders deemed to be a higher risk to the community.

The COMET program was developed in recent years, but unlike the public and interactive state sex offender registry, the addresses and other identifying details of the offenders who are included in the program remain confidential, the I-Team has learned.

One of the sex offenders who is monitored under the COMET program said he has been subjected to lie-detector tests to gauge his truthfulness and his likelihood for committing future sex crimes.

“They hook you up and monitor your vitals and your breathing. It’s very intimidating,” said the offender, a former school teacher who pleaded guilty to a sex crime with a student. He spoke with the I-Team on the condition of anonymity.

Other offenders who’ve been placed in the COMET program receive monthly home visits by agents, who ask questions about the offenders’ employment, finances and personal relationships.

COMET investigator Tricia Bennett said, “If someone shuts down real easy or takes an aggressive posture (during at-home interviews), that’s a red flag.”

An agency memo detailing the COMET program said, “The approach is focused on discovering the nature of each offender’s abusive behavior and working to minimize the likelihood that he or she will repeat the behavior.”

State agents also use written score sheets to measure the likelihood of sex offenders striking ..Continued.. by News4 I-Team

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