Sex offender registries in the United States Sign at the limits of Wapello, Iowa ; sex offender-free districts appeared as a result of Megan's Law. Any convicted sex offender on the Registry who lives, works, volunteers, goes to school or is even visiting temporarily in that geographical area will be instantly identified. Sex offenders' spouses and children can also face harassment and financial hardship as a result of their loved one's sex offender status. Civil right groups,   law reform activists,    academics,   some child safety advocates,       politicians  and law enforcement officials  think that current laws often target the wrong people, swaying attention away from high-risk sex offenders, while severely impacting lives of all registrants,     and their families,   attempting to re-integrate to society. Residency restrictions may even cause a sex offender's family to be homeless. All 50 states and District of Columbia maintain registries that are open to public via sex offender registration websites, although some registered sex offenders are visible to law enforcement only. These disparities in state legislation have caused unexpected problems to some registrants when moving from state to another, finding themselves subject to public disclosure on their destination state's sex offender website, and longer registration periods sometimes for life , even though they originally were excluded from public registry and required to register for a shorter period. Public disclosure of sex offender information[ edit ] Currently, only the United States allows, and more often than not requires public disclosure of offender information, regardless of individual risk. In some jurisdictions, they cannot live within a certain distance of places children or families gather. Automatic Inclusion of Convicted Sex Offenders in the Registry All convicted sex offenders are now automatically included in the Registry. United Kingdom[ edit ] In the United Kingdom, the Violent and Sex Offender Register ViSOR is a database of records of those required to register with the Police under the Sexual Offences Act , those jailed for more than 12 months for violent offences, and unconvicted people thought to be at risk of offending. Instead, registration is a mandatory collateral consequence of criminal conviction. S states do not utilize risk assessment tools when determining ones inclusion on the registry, although studies have shown that actuarial risk assessment instruments, which are created by putting together risk factors found by research to correlate with re-offending, consistently outperform the offense based systems. The public does not have access to the National Sex Offender Registry.