Senator Charles J. Fuschillo, Jr. (8th Senate District) announced that Governor George Pataki signed legislation making it easier for parents to locate sex offenders in their neighborhoods. The law, which took effect immediately after it was signed, requires both Level 3 and Level 2 sex offenders to be listed on the Internet, and expands public notification of level 1 sex offenders.
"Parents deserve to have access to information that will help keep their children safe," said Senator Fuschillo, who joined Senator Dean Skelos (9th Senate District) in sponsoring the law in the Senate. "Expanding the online registry to include both level 3 and level 2 sex offenders gives parents the ability to find out if there is a sex offender living in their neighborhood, making it easier for them to protect their kids."
Under the expanded Megan’s Law, all level 3 and level 2 sex offenders will be listed on the on-line sex offender registry, which is maintained by the State’s Department of Criminal Justice Services. Information on all level 2 sex offenders should be available online by mid-July. The Department of Criminal Justice Services estimates that there are approximately 450 level 2 sex offenders living on Long Island right now.
The law also increases public notice about level 1 sex offenders by authorizing local police to provide information about their presence in the community.
Before this expanded law was passed, only level 3 sex offenders, which are considered the most dangerous and highly likely to commit another sex crime, could be viewed using the Internet.
This law builds upon the improvements to Megan’s Law earlier this year. In January, the legislature passed a law requiring lifetime registration for level three offenders, the registry’s highest and most dangerous category. Level two offenders must also register for life, but are allowed to petition for removal from the registry after a minimum of thirty years. Level one offenders, the lowest of the registry’s classification levels, are required to register for twenty years.
Parents can access the online sex offender registry by visiting the Department of Criminal Justice Services’ website at www.criminaljustice.state.ny.us and clicking on the link on the left side of the page.
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