A federal appeals court has ruled that an Indiana law banning registered sex offenders from Facebook is unconstitutional.
The ruling won't affect us in Alabama, because we take an entirely different approach when it comes to social media.
Alabama has one of the strongest laws in the country when it comes to sex offenders. And while the state does not ban sex offenders from using social media sites they regulating what they can do. These laws so far haven't been seen as unconstitutional and haven't been challenged.
The Internet can be a sexual predator's playground.
"We think about our children and restricting their access to computers, however now with technology and phones out there it's in the palm of their hand," Sgt. Jacob Reach with the Jefferson County Sex Offender Unit said.
Reach helps monitor the more than seven hundred sex offenders in Jefferson County and he will be the first to tell you, convicted sex offenders are drawn to social media.
"They are going to find a way to access children and social media is easy access," Reach said.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are all ways for a predator to reach children. But here in Alabama there are strict laws in place protecting potential victims. On top of sex offenders having to register where they live or work, they also have to notify law enforcement of social media sites they belong to and share email accounts.
" For example, if they have a Facebook account we'd have access to it to look at the account to make sure [an offender is] not posting pictures of himself with children sitting in his lap and he's not allowed to reside with children and that would allow us to investigate further to ensure their safety," Reach said.
Jefferson County issues close to 250 warrants a year for sex offenders who aren't in compliance with the law.
"These offenders know we stay on top of them," Reach said.
Reach says parents need to talk to their children about the danger of sexual predators. If someone, your child doesn't know sends them a request on Facebook Reach says do not accept that request and to tell your parents at once.
Saturday, May 18 2013 11:38 PM EDT2013-05-19 03:38:46 GMT
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night. Aiken County deputies say they started searching for the suspectsMore >>
Aiken County deputies say they searched with New Ellenton police officers for two armed men who shot dogs on Sizemore Avenue on Saturday night.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 10:32 PM EDT2013-05-19 02:32:22 GMT
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island. Aiken County dispatch said it happened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday. There are at least two suspects,More >>
One person has been transported to the hospital after being shot at Axis Barbershop in Beech Island.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 8:57 PM EDT2013-05-19 00:57:12 GMT
Richmond County Dispatch confirms there has been a stabbing at a Family Dollar. Deputies say it happened on the 2900 block of Dean's Bridge Road around 7:18 tonight. Information is limited at this tiMore >>
Richmond County Sheriff's Office deputies confirmed a stabbing at the Family Dollar on Dean's Bridge Rd. around 7:15 this evening.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:23 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:23:19 GMT
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by whatMore >>
A fundraiser was held Saturday in honor of Wesley Spires. Local firefighters held a boot drive to honor their fellow volunteer firefighter who remains in critical condition after he was beaten by what investigators said was a bat along the Augusta Riverwalk on May 3rd.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 7:05 PM EDT2013-05-18 23:05:19 GMT
Instead of spending the day at the computer, some Augustans spent their day learning about it. People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta'sMore >>
People gathered at the Imperial Theater for Web Afternoon. Mayor Deke Copenhaver gave remarks about Augusta's growth in the technology sector.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 5:55 PM EDT2013-05-18 21:55:44 GMT
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.Bradford was a Grovetown resident, according to information from a DynCorp spokesperson.The spokesperson toldMore >>
Michael Robert Bradford, an employee of DynCorp International, has been killed in Afghanistan.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:47 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:47:31 GMT
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday. Columbia County dispatch said two cars were involved withMore >>
Georgia Power crews are working to fix power lines at William Few Parkway and Knob Hill that were struck from a car crash around 9 a.m. Saturday.More >>
Saturday, May 18 2013 2:40 PM EDT2013-05-18 18:40:22 GMT
Richmond County Sheriff's Office released the following information in regards to Deputy Creech: Sheriff Roundtree and the family of Deputy Alton Daniel Creech would like to thank everyone within our community forMore >>
Funeral services will be held at First Baptist Church of Augusta, 3500 Walton Way Extension, Augusta, Georgia on Tuesday morning, May 21, 2013 at 11am. Deputy Creech will lie in state for one hour prior to the service.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 11:31 PM EDT2013-05-18 03:31:56 GMT
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech. Two of Creech's close friends, who go by Solo and Ruff, say they've been unableMore >>
Hundreds of people sang through their grief Friday night as they mourned the death of Richmond County deputy Alton Creech.More >>
Friday, May 17 2013 8:49 PM EDT2013-05-18 00:49:03 GMT
It's that time of year again for swimming and the YMCA is stressing the importance of water safety. The YMCA wrapped up a week long program that teaches children the basics of water safety. This is partMore >>
The YMCA wrapped up a week long program that teaches children the basics of water safety. This is part of an initiative that is driven by CDC statistics; nearly 3,600 people die each year from drowning.More >>