The Boy Scouts of America are set to take their “perversion files” to police departments across the country.
The Associated Press reports that the organization has kept records of suspected pedophiles for the last century. The ineligible volunteer files, or perversion files, were used to keep sex offenders out of the organization. The Boy Scouts have now been ordered to releases its files between 1965 to 1985. Scouts spokesman Deron Smith said that the organization will go back through its files and report any suspected pedophiles it may have missed the first time around.
Police One reports that the scouts have been keeping records since about 1910, and most of those records remain private. Some of the files, which were recorded during the 70s and 80s, were released in 1991 and showed that the Scouts failed to disclose several sex abuse cases to the police.
The perversion files were put back in the spotlight in 2010 when the Boy Scouts were successfully sued for$20 million for failing to protect a former scout from his pedophile Scoutmaster.
The Oregon Supreme Court recently ruled that the Boy Scouts will have to release their perversion files from before 1971. The Scouts will also go over files that have already been released to make sure that all suspected pedophiles are reported.
According to the Associated Press, the new perversion files is expected to contain tens of thousands of pages of confidential documents and approximately 1,500 more victims between 1965 and 1985.
Kelly Clark, a Portland attorney involved in the 2010 case against the Boy Scouts, said that the organization has gathered this important information for the last century but has failed to do anything productive with it.
“What’s significant is that the Boy Scouts could have these files for so long and not learn from them.”
The Scouts admitted last week that they had not done enough to protect its members.
The Boy Scouts of America said in a statement:
“In some instances we failed to defend Scouts from those who would do them harm … There have been instances where people misused their positions in Scouting to abuse children, and in certain cases, our response to these incidents and our efforts to protect youth were plainly insufficient, inappropriate, or wrong.”