senate Bill S7724

Relates to sex offender registration procedures

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Bill Status


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

  • 03 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CRIME VICTIMS, CRIME AND CORRECTION
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • COMMITTEE DISCHARGED AND COMMITTED TO RULES
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • ORDERED TO THIRD READING CAL.1504
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • PASSED SENATE
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • DELIVERED TO ASSEMBLY
  • 18 / Jun / 2014
    • REFERRED TO CORRECTION

Summary

Relates to sex offender registration procedures.

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Bill Details

Versions:
S7724
Legislative Cycle:
2013-2014
Current Committee:
Law Section:
Correction Law
Laws Affected:
Amd ยงยง168-p, 168-q, 168-f & 168-k, Cor L

Sponsor Memo

BILL NUMBER:S7724

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

PURPOSE: This bill would amend provisions of Article 6-C of the
Corrections Law regarding the Sex Offender Registration Act to clarify
certain obligations of the Division of Criminal Justice Services, and
to align the State's change of address registration requirements with
that of the federal law.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section one amends section 168-p of the correction law to allow
members of the public to inquire as to whether up to five individuals
required to register are listed on the sex offender registry during a
single phone call. The provision clarifies that where a member of the
public calls the Division of Criminal Justice Services to determine
whether an individual is listed on the sex offender registry, and such
individual provides incorrect identifying information, this will not
prohibit the caller from inquiring further as to the person's identity
with additional identifying information during the same call.

Section two amends paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision 2-a of
section 168-p of the correction law to require that an organization,
which is granted a pre-registered certificate may inquire as to
whether an individual is listed on the sex offender registry in
writing. The bill further provides that when an organization does
inquire in writing it may do so as to the status of up to fifty
individuals in one request. The Division of Criminal Justice Services
must respond to the organization within five days.

Section three amends subdivision one of section 168-q of the
correction law to require the subdirectory to include the last known
date the offender's address, place of employment and photograph were
obtained. Additionally, section three establishes a new subparagraph
(a) which requires that where an offender does not report an
employment address, the division shall use the language, "Not
Currently Reported" in the subdirectory under the employment address
field. Further, section three establishes a new subparagraph (b) which
would require the division to include the offense for which the sex
offender was convicted in another jurisdiction outside of the state.
The division shall also include, but is not limited to, the title,
section, subsection, class, category and degree of offense for which
the sex offender was convicted in another jurisdiction.

Section four amends subdivision four of section 168-f of the
correction law to require any sex offender required to register with
the division to register within three days after a change of address,
internet accounts with internet access providers, internet identifiers
that such offender uses or his or her status of enrollment,
attendance, employment or residence at any institution of higher
education.

Section five amends subdivision six of section 168-f of the correction
law to require any nonresident workers or nonresident students
required to register with the division to register within three days


after any change of residence, employment or educational institution
address.

Section six amends subdivision one of section 168-k of the correction
law to require any sex offender required to register with the division
to register within three calendar days after such offender establishes
residence in the state.

Section seven establishes that the bill would take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION: For nearly two decades, Parents for Megan's Law Inc.,
a not-for-profit organization, has staffed the Megan's Law Helpline.
The Helpline is designed to provide the community information on how
to access sex offender registration information, responsible use of
information and to educate about child sexual abuse and rape
prevention. Beginning May 1, 2013, Parents for Megan's Law was
contracted by the County of Suffolk to assist them in their efforts of
ensuring that sex offender registration information was up-to-date and
accurate. In collaboration with the Suffolk County Police Department,
agency retired law enforcement officers conduct in-person
verifications of registered sex offenders residing in the County of
Suffolk. The public relies upon an up-to-date and accurate sex
offender registry to assist them in making decisions relating to
protecting themselves and their children from known registrants.

Parents for Megan's Law has discovered issues relating to the public's
accessibility to, and the accuracy of, information on the Sex Offender
Registry run by the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). This
bill is a result of continuous discussions with the organization on
provisions which would strengthen the accuracy of information on the
registry, as well as clarify the responsibilities of DCJS under
Article 6-C of the correction law.

Currently under the correction law, a not-for-profit organization
providing youth services may pre-register with the division for use of
a designated number to inquire into whether an individual is listed on
the registry. The law specifically states that a pre-registered
organization may inquire about twenty individuals in a single call.
Although not enumerated in the law, organizations which fall into this
category are able to submit requests in writing, but DCJS has failed
to respond to these inquiries in a timely fashion. This bill would
expressly provide preregistered organizations to inquire in writing as
to whether individuals are listed on the registry, and would require
the division to respond to requests of up to fifty individuals within
five days. This will ensure DCJS responds within a timely manner, and
the organizations are not delayed in providing their services to the
public. Additionally, Parents for Megan's Law has found that when
calling to inquire about an individual, DCJS will not allow further
inquiry into whether an individual is registered on the list, where
the caller provides inaccurate identifying information, a wrong
address for example. The division requires the caller to call back and
inquire about the same individual in a separate call, instead of
allowing the caller to provide another piece of identifying
information, such as the individual's date of birth. The bill
clarifies that an individual may continue to inquire as to whether an
individual is on the registry where the caller initially provides
inaccurate identifying information. The bill also establishes that the


caller may inquire into the registration status of up to five
individuals per call to alleviate the division from being inundated
with calls.

Parents for Megan's Law further found that DCJS has implemented a
policy where they will not provide the date a level one sex offender's
photograph was taken. The correction law requires a level one sex
offender to appear in person every three years to have an updated
photograph taken for the registry. The date in which the photograph
was taken is instrumental in aiding law enforcement identify these
individuals, and would allow them to better gage the current physical
appearance of an offender based on when the photograph was taken. This
bill alleviates this burden by requiring the division to put on the
register the last known date an offender's address, place of
employment and photograph were obtained. The organization has also
found some information on the registry to be ambiguous, specifically
the employment address field, which is often times left blank. In
order to provide clarity to organizations responsible for ensuring the
information on the registry is accurate DCJS, where an offender does
not provide an employment address, must enter into the employment
address field, "None Currently Reported." Further, The bill also
requires DCJS to include in the directory the specific offense
committed by a sex offender in another jurisdiction which requires the
offender to register in the state. This measure will ensure that the
organizations and law enforcement responsible for in-person
verifications of registered sex offenders have access to the most
recent whereabouts and status of those required to be on the registry.

The bill amends sections 168-f and 168-k regarding the amount of time
a sex offender has to register his or her change of address. Under the
Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, the federal
government established that an individual required to register with
the national sex offender registry must provide his or her change of
address within three days after such change. However, under New York's
correction law, sex offenders are given ten days to report their
change of address to DCJS. Parents for Megan's Law has found that the
extra seven days afforded offenders have sometimes resulted in law
enforcement being misled by transient offenders. Amending the State's
current ten day registration requirement to three days would provide
the community with a better understanding of the whereabouts of these
individuals during transition periods.

The provisions of this bill would allow DCJS and partnering
organizations, such as Parents for Megan's Law, to ensure the public
and law enforcement enfettered access to the whereabouts of sex
offenders required to register under the law.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the state

EFFECTIVE DATE: Immediately.

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

                                  7724

                            I N  S E N A T E

                              June 3, 2014
                               ___________

Introduced  by  Sen.  ZELDIN -- read twice and ordered printed, and when
  printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims,  Crime  and
  Correction

AN  ACT  to amend the correction law, in relation to sex offender regis-
  tration

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

  Section  1.  Subdivision  1 of section 168-p of the correction law, as
amended by chapter 361 of the laws  of  2004,  is  amended  to  read  as
follows:
  1.  Pursuant to section one hundred sixty-eight-b of this article, the
division shall also operate a  telephone  number  that  members  of  the
public  may call free of charge and inquire whether [a named individual]
UP TO FIVE NAMED INDIVIDUALS required to register pursuant to this arti-
cle [is] ARE listed. The division shall ascertain whether [a] SUCH named
[person] PERSONS reasonably [appears]  APPEAR  to  be  [a  person]  SUCH
PERSONS  so  listed and provide the caller with the relevant information
according to risk as described in subdivision six of section one hundred
sixty-eight-l of this article. The division shall decide  whether  [the]
SUCH named [person] PERSONS reasonably [appears] APPEAR to be [a person]
SUCH  PERSONS  listed,  based upon information from the caller providing
information that shall include (a) an exact  street  address,  including
apartment  number,  driver's  license  number  or birth date, along with
additional information that may include  social  security  number,  hair
color,  eye  color,  height, weight, distinctive markings, ethnicity; or
(b) any combination of the above  listed  characteristics  if  an  exact
birth  date or address is not available. If three of the characteristics
provided include ethnicity, hair color, and eye color, other identifying
characteristics shall be provided. ANY INCORRECT IDENTIFYING  CHARACTER-
ISTICS  PROVIDED BY THE CALLER WILL NOT PROHIBIT THE CALLER FROM INQUIR-
ING FURTHER AS TO THE  PERSON'S  IDENTITY  WITH  ADDITIONAL  IDENTIFYING
INFORMATION DURING THE SAME CALL. Any information identifying the victim
by  name,  birth  date,  address or relation to the person listed by the
division shall be excluded by the division.

 EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
                      [ ] is old law to be omitted.
                                                           LBD14895-04-4

S. 7724                             2

  S 2. Paragraphs (a) and (b) of subdivision 2-a of section 168-p of the
correction law, as added by chapter 361 of the laws of 2004, are amended
to read as follows:
  (a)  The  division  shall  establish a program allowing non-profit and
not-for-profit youth services organizations  to  pre-register  with  the
division for use of the telephone number. Pre-registration shall include
the  identification  of  up to two officials of the organization who may
call the telephone number OR MAKE AN  INQUIRY  IN  WRITING,  and  obtain
information  on behalf of the organization. A pre-registered certificate
issued under this subdivision shall  be  valid  for  two  years,  unless
earlier  revoked  by  the division for good cause shown. No fee shall be
charged to an applicant for the issuance of a pre-registered certificate
pursuant to this subdivision.
  (b) An organization granted a pre-registered certificate  pursuant  to
this subdivision may, upon calling the telephone number, inquire whether
multiple  named  individuals  are  listed  on the sex offender registry.
Notwithstanding any per call limitation the division may place on  calls
by  private  individuals,  the  division shall allow such pre-registered
organizations to inquire about up to twenty prospective coaches, leaders
or volunteers in each call to  the  telephone  number.  IF  REGISTRATION
VERIFICATION  IS REQUESTED IN WRITING, THE DIVISION SHALL RESPOND WITHIN
FIVE DAYS FOR REQUESTS OF UP TO FIFTY NAMED INDIVIDUALS.
  S 3. Subdivision 1 of section 168-q of the correction law, as  amended
by chapter 532 of the laws of 2011, is amended to read as follows:
  1.  The  division shall maintain a subdirectory of level two and three
sex offenders. The subdirectory 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,  physical
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. FURTHER, THE SUBDIRECTORY SHALL
INCLUDE THE LAST KNOWN DATE THE OFFENDER'S ADDRESS, PLACE OF  EMPLOYMENT
AND  PHOTOGRAPH  WERE OBTAINED. The subdirectory shall have sex offender
listings categorized by county and zip code. Such subdirectory shall  be
made  available  at all times on the internet via the division homepage.
Any person may apply to the division to receive automated e-mail notifi-
cations 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.
  (A)  IF  THE OFFENDER DOES NOT REPORT AN EMPLOYMENT ADDRESS, THE DIVI-
SION SHALL USE THE LANGUAGE, "NONE CURRENTLY REPORTED" IN THE  SUBDIREC-
TORY UNDER THE EMPLOYMENT ADDRESS FIELD.
  (B)  FOR  A  SEX  OFFENDER  WHO HAS BEEN CONVICTED OF AN OFFENSE WHICH
REQUIRES REGISTRATION UNDER PARAGRAPH (D) OF SUBDIVISION  TWO  OR  PARA-
GRAPH  (B)  OF SUBDIVISION THREE OF SECTION ONE HUNDRED SIXTY-EIGHT-A OF
THIS ARTICLE, THE DIVISION SHALL INCLUDE THE OFFENSE FOR WHICH  THE  SEX
OFFENDER WAS CONVICTED IN ANY OTHER JURISDICTION. THE SUBDIRECTORY FIELD
CONVICTION  CHARGES  SHALL  INCLUDE,  BUT  SHALL  NOT BE LIMITED TO, THE
TITLE, SECTION, SUBSECTION, CLASS, CATEGORY AND DEGREE  OF  OFFENSE  FOR
WHICH THE SEX OFFENDER WAS CONVICTED IN ANY OTHER JURISDICTION.

S. 7724                             3

  S  4. Subdivision 4 of section 168-f of the correction law, as amended
by chapter 67 of the laws of 2008, is amended to read as follows:
  4.  Any  sex  offender  shall register with the division no later than
[ten] THREE calendar days after any change of address, internet accounts
with internet access providers  belonging  to  such  offender,  internet
identifiers that such offender uses, or his or her status of enrollment,
attendance,  employment or residence at any institution of higher educa-
tion. A fee of ten  dollars,  as  authorized  by  subdivision  eight  of
section one hundred sixty-eight-b of this article, shall be submitted by
the sex offender each time such offender registers any change of address
or any change of his or her status of enrollment, attendance, employment
or  residence  at  any  institution  of higher education. Any failure or
omission to submit the required fee shall not affect the  acceptance  by
the division of the change of address or change of status.
  S 5. Subdivision 6 of section 168-f of the correction law, as added by
chapter 11 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows:
  6. Any nonresident worker or nonresident student, as defined in subdi-
visions  fourteen  and  fifteen  of section one hundred sixty-eight-a of
this article, shall register his or her current address and the  address
of  his  or  her place of employment or educational institution attended
with the division within [ten] THREE calendar days after  such  nonresi-
dent worker or nonresident student commences employment or attendance at
an  educational  institution  in  the  state.  Any nonresident worker or
nonresident student shall notify the division of  any  change  of  resi-
dence, employment or educational institution address no later than [ten]
THREE days after such change. The division shall notify the law enforce-
ment  agency where the nonresident worker is employed or the educational
institution is located that a nonresident worker or nonresident  student
is present in that agency's jurisdiction.
  S  6. Subdivision 1 of section 168-k of the correction law, as amended
by chapter 146 of the laws of 2004, is amended to read as follows:
  1. A sex offender who has been convicted of an offense which  requires
registration  under paragraph (d) of subdivision two or paragraph (b) of
subdivision three of section one hundred sixty-eight-a of  this  article
shall  notify  the division of the new address no later than [ten] THREE
calendar days after such sex  offender  establishes  residence  in  this
state.
  S 7. This act shall take effect immediately.

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