Georgia Online Database Identifies and Traces Parolees

The database is being called an "electronic neighborhood watch," and allows residents to search parolees by ZIP code, name or prison ID number.

by / March 14, 2003
ATLANTA -- Parole Board officials and state Senate President Pro Tempore Eric Johnson and unveiled a new Web page that will allow Georgia citizens to find out if parolees live in their neighborhoods.

The new Web page is a complete database of the 22,000 parolees in Georgia under the supervision of the Parole Board. The site will allow users to search by ZIP code, a parolee's name, or prison ID number to find parolees living throughout Georgia.

Once found, the parolee's record includes a link to the parolee's photograph, home address, physical description, beginning and ending parole date and most serious offense. If the parolee has absconded from supervision, the record notes the absconder with a "WANTED" sign, and lists the parole office phone number for tips on the individual's whereabouts.

"This bill was purely in the interest of public safety," Johnson said. "This Web site will allow citizens to have an 'electronic neighborhood watch.' Any citizen can obtain a list of parolees, including their address and crime."

The database will be kept current by a daily upload of new information from parole officer laptops around the state. Address and parole information will never be more than one day old.

"This Board wants to be as transparent as possible," said Parole Board Member Michael Light. "That includes allowing Georgia citizens and public safety officials to know where parolees are living and working in our communities."

The Web page is a result of Johnson's Senate Bill 23, nicknamed the "Know Thy Neighbor Act," which passed through the Georgia legislature in 1997.