Many of Georgia's most serious sex predators live in local communities across the state, now without ankle monitors they were required to wear for life until recently.
Roughly 1 in every 450 people in Georgia is a registered sex offender, according to data from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Of those, 1,230 have been classified as sexually dangerous predators, meaning they pose the highest risk for committing future crimes.
Sex predators live in communities across the state, clustered mostly in the Atlanta, Savannah and Columbus areas. All but a fraction of Georgia’s 159 counties host at least one predator listed on the state’s sex registry, on top of thousands more sex offenders convicted of less-severe crimes. Due to a recent Georgia Supreme Court case, state officials expect about 600 predators to be freed from their ankle monitors by the end of this year.
Since then, state lawmakers have let nearly two years slip by without passing a legal fix suggested by a state Supreme Court justice, who recommended giving judges more leeway to include lifetime ankle monitors as part of a predator’s sentence.