Who's Next Door; Sex Offenders & Bryan County

4-29-04 - Registered sex offenders are a reality for every city and county in Texoma. But one county in particular has a higher number than its neighbors. More sex offenders call Bryan County home for a variety of reasons – one of which is a treatment program.

The numbers speak volumes – Bryan County has 98 registered sex offenders, while nearby Coal County has 12, Choctaw County has 53 and Grayson County, with a much larger population, only has 63.

One reason for the number is that sex offenders often provide a home for other convicts that they met in prison. And the Bryan County sheriff’s department has a unit that focuses on registering these offenders as soon as they step foot in the area.

Another reason – court appointed counseling, found in Durant. The program is known as a success, and draws sex offenders from 11 area counties. The program’s counselor calls it a success – treating offenders who end up becoming better citizens. The treatment involves weekly sessions of counseling that last two years.

The county is working to make sure that not only all sex offenders register, but that the registry list is available to the public on a county-run website. Right now, citizens can go to the sheriff's department to look at a copy of the sex offender list.