California was the first state in the nation to initiate a Sex Offender Tracking Program in 1947, but until 1996, when California Megan's Law (CML) was initiated, information about sex offenders was not publicly available.
Megan's Law is named after seven year old New Jersey girl Megan Kanka, who was raped and killed by a known molester who lived across the street from her family. All states now have a form of Megan's Law. On September 24, 2004, AB 488 was signed into law in California, providing the public Internet access to sex offender information at www.meganslaw.ca.gov.
This is a website that deserves a look, particularly by anyone who is a parent. While the website is not meant to "punish" sex offenders, it is a useful awareness tool. The search engine on the site allows you to search by name, address, city, zip and county, as well as within a two mile radius of parks and schools. You can also review the results of your search in both map and listing format.
Within seconds you can identify the 942 (as of Dec 2016 vs 883 in Aug 2016, 851 in Feb 2016, 760 in Sep 2014) registered sex offenders in Ventura County, including photos, names, vital stats like date of birth, height and weight, their offenses and, where applicable, their addresses.
The information in the CML database is not always up to date for each individual. The severity of the offenses for each individual vary from the more violent (rape, battery) to statutory rape, indecent exposure, etc.