Since 2004, the public has been able to view identifying information regarding sex offenders required to register with local law enforcement under California's Megan's Law.
California has required sex offenders to register with their local law enforcement agencies since 1947, however, previously, the information was available only by personally visiting police stations and sheriff offices or by calling a toll-free number.
California's Megan's Law provides the public with certain information on the whereabouts of sex offenders so members of our local communities may protect themselves and their children from potential harm. Megan's Law is named after seven-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known registered sex offender who had moved in across the street from the family without their knowledge. In the wake of the tragedy, the Kankas sought to have local communities warned about sex offenders in the area. All states now have a form of Megan's Law.
The law is not intended to punish the registrant and specifically prohibits using the information to harass or commit any crime against a registrant (Penal Code § 290.46.).