New rule monitors where sex offenders live; Law starts Monday

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - By Harve Jacobs  bio | email | Twitter

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - Beginning Monday, some convicted sex offenders won't be allowed to live within 1,000 feet of places like schools, day cares and public playgrounds.

The law applies to new offenders who are convicted of certain crimes against minors or looking to change residences.

"We're not measuring the I live around the corner kind of 1,000 feet. It's a straight line from the corner of the school property to the corner of the residence," said Charleston County Sheriff's Detective Christina Smith.

Smith will track those offenders using software called OffenderWatch.

"If you go on the new website, you will actually see a picture of a school house and then where the offender's residence is," Smith said. "So then it will tell you whether they're in violation if you click on that offender's picture or profile in the system."

The new 1,000-foot restriction is known as the proximity law. It was signed by former Gov. Mark Sanford in 2008.

It is being put into place now because the technology was recently made available state-wide to make tracking sex offenders possible.

Anyone can log on to the OffenderWatch website and enter an address to find out if a sex offender lives nearby.

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