According to a new study, Oregon has more sex offenders than any other state.
Oregon has 688 per 100,000 residents, compared to second highest Arkansas at 536. The lowest in the nation is Maryland, with 125 sex offenders per 100,000 residents. The average among all states is 279.
Using data from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, the study was conducted by SecureLife.
Oregon Chronically Underreports Risk
Oregon law requires the 31,000 sex offenders living in the state to be classified by risk of reoffending. This is important because Levels 1 and 2 are seen as having a lower risk of reoffending – however, if an offender is classified as Level 3, the belief is they are at a high risk of reoffending, and they are supposed be publicly reported.
However, only 5,000 of Oregon’s sex offenders have been classified, and about 800 are at the highest risk, Level 3, and are therefore publicly reported. In other words, 16 percent of those classified are at the highest level of risk, and if that ratio held true for Oregon’s other 26,000 offenders, another 4,160 would be publicly reported.
The Parole Just Got Another Extension
According KPTV in Portland, the state passed a law six years ago requiring Oregon’s parole board to get all the offenders classified, but they’ve blown through three deadlines. The latest extension signed by the governor is for 2026. When KPTV asked the parole board if they will make the next deadline, they replied, “…The board’s budget was cut for the next biennium. This will significantly impact our ability to meet any deadlines set for the historic registrant population.”
Currently, the only way to get information on Level 1, 2, or unclassified offenders is through contacting local law enforcement. For the offenders that are publicly reported, the public can check the state’s registry.
By Anthony Thompson