Many parents are concerned that sex offenders may be in the neighborhood, able to interact with kids.
Of course, experts say the best way to make sure nothing bad happens is to go with your kids, or to have them go in groups and stay with their friends. But, you can also check out the neighborhood ahead of time by logging on to the Mississippi Sex Offender Registry.
To use it correctly, you enter your zip code in the geographic search, or the name of an offender in the name search. You can then narrow the search to withing a certain radius of your home.
I searched my neighborhood and found only one offender close by. But, he was convicted of crimes against children, so I'm glad I know where he is. When you log on, be prepared for a bit of hassle. The site is security protected and you have to go through some of the loops in place to prevent hacking.
Earlier this month, Mississippi Sen. Will Longwitz talked about legislation that would make it harder for sex offenders to hide. LINK: Related Article
The Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta also offers these tips.