senate Bill S1976A

Expands the amount of information available about registered sex offenders on the division of criminal justice services website

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Bill Status


  • Introduced
  • In Committee
  • On Floor Calendar
    • Passed Senate
    • Passed Assembly
  • Delivered to Governor
  • Signed/Vetoed by Governor
view actions

actions

  • 14 / Jan / 2011
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 04 / Jan / 2012
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 05 / Jan / 2012
    • AMEND AND RECOMMIT TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 05 / Jan / 2012
    • PRINT NUMBER 1976A
  • 08 / Mar / 2012
    • NOTICE OF COMMITTEE CONSIDERATION - REQUESTED
  • 12 / Mar / 2012
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES

Summary

Expands the amount of information available to police and the public, by means of the internet, on registered sex offenders; authorizes any person to register with the division of criminal justice services to receive e-mail notification of all sex offenders residing within their zip code.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S1976
S1976A
Legislative Cycle:
2011-2012
Current Committee:
Senate Rules
Law Section:
Correction Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง168-b, 168-l & 168-q, Cor L
Versions Introduced in Previous Legislative Cycles:
2009-2010: A5341
2007-2008: A4994

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1976A

TITLE OF BILL:
An act
to amend the correction law, in relation to the registration of sex
offenders

PURPOSE:
To make information about all registered sex offenders able on the
Division of Criminal Justice Services home page provide for
registration of automatic e-mail notification when offender moves
into a resident's zip code.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Subdivision 6 of section 168-b of the correction law, as amended by
chapter 106 of the laws of 2006 would be amended to change the
reference to the subdirectory to a reference to the directory of sex
offenders.

Section two of the bill amends paragraphs a, band c of subdivision 6
of section 168-1 of the Correction Law to describe what information
about a sex offender is available on the Division homepage depending
on whether the offender has been designated a level one, two or three
risk.

Section three of the bill amends section 168-q of the Correction Law
to change the title of the subdirectory to the Directory of Sex
Offenders and to authorize certain information about level one sex
offenders to be made available on the Division homepage in addition
to the current information which is made available on level two and
three sex offenders. Also provides that DCJS shall provide on its
internet home page a means for a person to register to receive notice
by mail whenever a sex offender moves into their zip code.

Section four of the bill provides that it takes effect 180 days after
it becomes law.

EXISTING LAW:
Currently, the Sex Offender Registration Act does not require all sex
offenders to be accessible on the DCJS directory website. In
addition, the Division must maintain a subdirectory of Sex offenders
which is distributed to all local law enforcement agencies Monthly in
addition to being maintained on the Division home page. In order to
view the subdirectory, a person must provide his or her name in
writing.

JUSTIFICATION:
In New York State, a sex offender remains on the Sex Offender Registry
for at least twenty years. Many offenders are required to register
for life. A subdirectory of Sex Offenders is maintained on the
Division of Criminal Justice services homepage. While this
subdirectory provides valuable information concerning those offenders

who have been determined to pose a moderate or high risk, no similar
information is provided about offenders found to pose a low risk of
re-offense. A person must call the 800 number operated by the
Division or be notified by a local law enforcement agency to learn of
low risk offenders in the community.

To use the 800 number, the caller must have the sex offender's name
and either the offender's exact address, date of birth, social
security number or driver's license number. There is no fee for the
800 number. The 800 number has proved to be a useful screening tool
for certain business and volunteer agencies however, it is not as
useful for a person who wishes to know who may pose a threat to the
community but does not know the specific identifying information
required for an 800 number search. Making information about all
registered sex offenders, based upon risk level, available on the
Division home page will expand the utility of the Registry and
enhance the safety of New York's most vulnerable citizens.
Individuals and organizations who need access to Registry information
will be able to obtain such information from any computer with access
to the Internet without charge at a convenient time and will no
longer be limited to calling the 800 number. In addition, by
providing a mechanism whereby residents may register with DCJS to
receive automatic e-mail notifications whenever an offender moves
into their zip code will give individuals the peace of mind that they
will be timely notified whenever there is an individual who may pose
a risk living nearby. Furthermore, it takes away the burden of
having to check the registry all the time to look for new offenders
living in the community.

Currently, a local law enforcement agency is required, by statute, to
provide public access to the subdirectory. Agencies accomplish this
by providing a requestor with the use of a computer to view the
subdirectory on the DCJS homepage.

Discontinuing access to the subdirectory at local law enforcement
agencies will have little or no impact on the public. A number of
law enforcement agencies have reported that the subdirectory is
rarely, if ever, accessed by the public. While the public does not
access the subdirectory at a police station very often, the
subdirectory maintained on the home page is one of the most
frequently visited sites on the Division home page. In December 2006,
the subdirectory received 2,113,371 hits. Accessing the subdirectory
at a law enforcement agency is a cumbersome task. A person wishing to
view the subdirectory at a police station must ascertain the location
and time that it is available for viewing. In many cases the viewing
times are limited.

Further, many citizens may not feel comfortable requesting access at a
police station. In contrast, the directory maintained on the Division
home page is accessible 24 hours a day from the privacy of home.
Individuals who do not have home access to the Internet may access
the directory at a public library at no charge or any business which

furnishes Internet access for a fee. Moreover, any individual who
accesses the directory from the Internet, may print the results of
the search. Printing is often not an option when viewing the
subdirectory at a police station.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

2003/2004 Similar to 8.4007-A Passed Senate/Assembly Correction
2005/2006 Similar to 5.496-B Passed Senate/Assembly Correction
02/12/07 Referred to Correction 01/09/08 Referred to Correction

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:
180 days after the bill becomes a law.

view bill text
                    S T A T E   O F   N E W   Y O R K
________________________________________________________________________

                                 1976--A

                       2011-2012 Regular Sessions

                            I N  S E N A T E

                            January 14, 2011
                               ___________

Introduced  by Sens. GIANARIS, AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed,
  and when printed to be committed to the Committee  on  Crime  Victims,
  Crime and Correction -- recommitted to the Committee on Crime Victims,
  Crime  and  Correction  in  accordance  with  Senate Rule 6, sec. 8 --
  committee discharged, bill amended, ordered reprinted as  amended  and
  recommitted to said committee

AN  ACT  to amend the correction law, in relation to the registration of
  sex offenders

  THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND  ASSEM-
BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS:

  Section  1.  Subdivision  6 of section 168-b of the correction law, as
amended by chapter 106 of the laws  of  2006,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  6. The division shall also establish a [subdirectory] DIRECTORY pursu-
ant to section one hundred sixty-eight-q of this article.
  S 2.  Paragraphs (a), (b) and (c) of subdivision 6 of section 168-l of
the  correction law, paragraph (a) as amended by chapter 106 of the laws
of 2006, paragraph (b) as amended by chapter 513 of the laws of 2011 and
paragraph (c) as separately amended by chapters 318 and 680 of the  laws
of 2005, are amended to read as follows:
  (a)  If  the  risk  of  repeat offense is low, a level one designation
shall be given to such sex offender. In such case  the  law  enforcement
agency or agencies having jurisdiction and the law enforcement agency or
agencies  having  had  jurisdiction at the time of his or her conviction
shall be notified and may disseminate  relevant  information  which  may
include  a  photograph  and  description  of  the offender and which may
include the name of the sex offender, approximate address based  on  sex
offender's  zip  code,  background  information including the offender's
crime of conviction, modus of operation, type of  victim  targeted,  the
name and address of any institution of higher education at which the sex
offender   is   enrolled,  attends,  is  employed  or  resides  and  the

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD05810-02-1

S. 1976--A                          2

description of special conditions imposed on the offender to any  entity
with vulnerable populations related to the nature of the offense commit-
ted  by  such  sex  offender.  Any entity receiving information on a sex
offender  may  disclose  or  further disseminate such information at its
discretion. IN ADDITION, IN EACH SUCH CASE, THE NAME OF THE  SEX  OFFEN-
DER,  A  PHOTOGRAPH OF THE SEX OFFENDER AND APPROXIMATE ADDRESS BASED ON
THE SEX OFFENDERS ZIP CODE SHALL  ALSO  BE  PROVIDED  IN  THE  DIRECTORY
ESTABLISHED IN THIS ARTICLE.
  (b) If the risk of repeat offense is moderate, a level two designation
shall  be  given  to such sex offender. In such case the law enforcement
agency or agencies having jurisdiction and the law enforcement agency or
agencies having had jurisdiction at the time of his  or  her  conviction
shall  be  notified and may disseminate relevant information which shall
include a photograph and description  of  the  offender  and  which  may
include  the  exact name and any aliases used by the sex offender, exact
address,  background  information  including  the  offender's  crime  of
conviction,  mode  of  operation,  type of victim targeted, the name and
address of any institution of higher education at which the sex offender
is enrolled, attends, is employed or  resides  and  the  description  of
special conditions imposed on the offender to any entity with vulnerable
populations  related  to the nature of the offense committed by such sex
offender. Any  entity  receiving  information  on  a  sex  offender  may
disclose  or  further disseminate such information at its discretion. In
addition, in such case, the information described [herein] IN THIS PARA-
GRAPH shall also be provided in the [subdirectory] DIRECTORY established
in this article and notwithstanding any other  provision  of  law,  such
information shall, upon request, be made available to the public.
  Such  law  enforcement  agencies  shall compile, maintain and update a
listing of vulnerable organizational entities within  its  jurisdiction.
Such listing shall be utilized for notification of such organizations in
disseminating  such  information  on level two sex offenders pursuant to
this paragraph. Such listing  shall  include  and  not  be  limited  to:
superintendents  of  schools or chief school administrators, superinten-
dents of parks, public and private libraries, public and private  school
bus  transportation  companies,  day care centers, nursery schools, pre-
schools, neighborhood watch groups,  community  centers,  civic  associ-
ations, nursing homes, victim's advocacy groups and places of worship.
  (c) If the risk of repeat offense is high and there exists a threat to
the  public  safety a level three designation shall be given to such sex
offender. In such case, the law enforcement agency  or  agencies  having
jurisdiction  and  the  law  enforcement  agency  or agencies having had
jurisdiction at the time of his or her conviction shall be notified  and
may  disseminate  relevant  information which shall include a photograph
and description of the offender and which may include the sex offender's
exact name and any aliases used by the offender, exact address,  address
of  the offender's place of employment, background information including
the offender's crime of conviction, mode of operation,  type  of  victim
targeted, the name and address of any institution of higher education at
which  the sex offender is enrolled, attends, is employed or resides and
the description of special conditions imposed on  the  offender  to  any
entity  with vulnerable populations related to the nature of the offense
committed by such sex offender. Any entity receiving  information  on  a
sex offender may disclose or further disseminate such information at its
discretion.  In addition, in such case, the information described [here-
in] IN THIS PARAGRAPH shall  also  be  provided  in  the  [subdirectory]
DIRECTORY  established  in  this  article  and notwithstanding any other

S. 1976--A                          3

provision of law, such information shall, upon request, be  made  avail-
able to the public.
  Such  law  enforcement  agencies  shall compile, maintain and update a
listing of vulnerable organizational entities within  its  jurisdiction.
Such listing shall be utilized for notification of such organizations in
disseminating  such information on level three sex offenders pursuant to
this paragraph. Such listing  shall  include  and  not  be  limited  to:
superintendents  of  schools or chief school administrators, superinten-
dents of parks, public and private libraries, public and private  school
bus  transportation  companies,  day care centers, nursery schools, pre-
schools, neighborhood watch groups,  community  centers,  civic  associ-
ations, nursing homes, victim's advocacy groups and places of worship.
  S  3.  The  section  heading and subdivision 1 of section 168-q of the
correction law, the section heading as amended by  chapter  106  of  the
laws  of 2006 and subdivision 1 as amended by chapter 532 of the laws of
2011, are amended to read as follows:
  [Subdirectory] DIRECTORY; internet posting.   1.  The  division  shall
maintain  a  [subdirectory  of  level  two  and three sex offenders. The
subdirectory] DIRECTORY WHICH SHALL BE MADE AVAILABLE AT  ALL  TIMES  ON
THE INTERNET VIA THE DIVISION HOMEPAGE FOR PURPOSES OF PUBLIC ACCESS.
  (A)  IN  THE  CASE  OF  A  SEX OFFENDER WHO HAS BEEN GIVEN A LEVEL ONE
DESIGNATION, THE DIRECTORY SHALL INCLUDE THE NAME OF THE SEX OFFENDER, A
PHOTOGRAPH OF THE SEX OFFENDER AND APPROXIMATE ADDRESS BASED ON THE  SEX
OFFENDER'S ZIP CODE.
  (B)  IN  THE  CASE OF A SEX OFFENDER WHO HAS BEEN GIVEN A LEVEL TWO OR
THREE DESIGNATION,  THE  DIRECTORY  shall  include  the  exact  address,
address  of the offender's place of employment and photograph of the sex
offender along with the following information, if available: name, phys-
ical description, age and distinctive markings.  Background  information
including  the  sex  offender's crime of conviction, modus of operation,
type of victim targeted, the name and  address  of  any  institution  of
higher  education  at  which  the  sex offender is enrolled, attends, is
employed or resides and a description of special conditions  imposed  on
the  sex  offender  shall also be included. [The subdirectory shall have
sex offender listings categorized by county and zip code. Such subdirec-
tory shall be made available at all times on the internet via the  divi-
sion homepage. Any person may apply to the division to receive automated
e-mail notifications whenever a new or updated subdirectory registration
occurs in a geographic area specified by such person. The division shall
furnish  such  service  at  no  charge to such person, who shall request
e-mail notification by county and/or zip code  on  forms  developed  and
provided  by  the  division.  E-mail  notification  is  limited to three
geographic areas per e-mail account.]
  (C) THE DIVISION SHALL, ON ITS INTERNET HOMEPAGE, PROVIDE A MEANS  FOR
ANY  PERSON  TO  REGISTER  TO RECEIVE NOTICE AT SUCH PERSON'S ELECTRONIC
MAIL ADDRESS OF ALL SEX OFFENDERS WHO  RESIDE  OR  MOVE  INTO  THE  AREA
ENCOMPASSED BY SUCH PERSON'S ZIP CODE. THE DIVISION SHALL PROVIDE TIMELY
NOTICE  BY ELECTRONIC MAIL TO EACH PERSON WHO REGISTERS PURSUANT TO THIS
PARAGRAPH OF EVERY SEX OFFENDER RESIDING IN AND OF  EVERY  SEX  OFFENDER
WHO  MOVES  INTO  THE  PERSON'S  ZIP CODE. SUCH NOTICE SHALL INCLUDE ALL
INFORMATION AUTHORIZED TO BE DISCLOSED ON EACH SUCH SEX OFFENDER  PURSU-
ANT TO PARAGRAPH (A) OR (B) OF THIS SUBDIVISION.
  S 4. This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after
it shall have become a law.

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