State Senate approves Ranzenhofer bill to stop placement of sex offenders in group homes
Albany, NY – A bill to prevent registered sex offenders from residing in community group homes has passed the State Senate by a 55-2 vote. Senate Bill No. 7503 is sponsored by Senator Mike Ranzenhofer.
“It is inappropriate that registered sex offenders have been placed to reside with these most vulnerable individuals who deserve the best care and protection that we can provide. This bill will ensure the safety of those who we are charged with protecting, while assuring residents in our neighborhoods. Simply put, this measure will go a long way in guarding residents from harm,” said Ranzenhofer.
Existing law permits sex offenders to reside in community group homes.
Ranzenhofer is opposed to the placement of registered sex offenders in a group home located in Newstead. In February, he wrote to the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD).
“To be frank, I believe that the lack of public notification regarding these transfers was unacceptable. In addition, the placement of convicted sex offenders into an environment with highly vulnerable populations, such as individuals with mental disabilities and children, is blatantly irresponsible,” said Ranzenhofer’s letter to OPWDD.
Senator Ranzenhofer also urged OPWDD to review its placement procedures for certain populations in group home settings.
The bill has been sent to the State Assembly. Assemblyman Michael Kearns is the bill’s sponsor in the Assembly.