Senate Looks To Strengthen Megan's Law

John J. Flanagan

May 23, 2005

Senator John J. Flanagan (R,C-East Northport) today announced the Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections will hold a public hearing to examine the current Megan's law statute, and study ideas and legislation designed to enhance existing law through increased public notification of all registered sex offenders. The public meeting will take place on May 26, 2005 at Valley Stream North High School, 750 Herman Avenue, Franklin Square, NY at 1:15 p.m..

"These public hearings will culminate in legislation strengthening Megan’s Law to protect more children, ensuring that people are better informed about the presence of sex offenders in their community and imposing stronger punishment on sexual predators to prevent them from preying on innocent victims," said Senator Flanagan. "Megan’s Law and the New York State Sex Offender Registry were created ten years ago and time has shown that improvements can be made that will strengthen the existing law and help keep our communities safer."

In 1995, Megan’s mother, Maureen Kanka partnered with Senator Skelos, the original author of Megan’s Law, and the Senate Majority to champion its passage in both chambers of the Legislature. While the Sex Offender Registry first passed the State Senate in 1994, Mrs. Kanka’s advocacy and involvement were instrumental in its enactment.

Throughout the last decade, the Senate has continually passed legislation expanding Megan’s Law and further enhancing the state’s efforts to protect children and families from sex offenders. The Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Corrections, Chaired by Senator Nozzolio, will hold public hearings to solicit the participation of law enforcement, educators and school officials, parents, advocates and others regarding a variety of issues including:

-- Lifetime registration of sex offenders to prevent convicted predators from going "off the books";

-- Global positioning system tracking of sexual predators;

-- Mandatory community notification to help ensure parents know when a sex offender is living in their neighborhood;

-- Civil commitment of sexually violent predators after they’ve completed their prison sentence, to protect the public from criminals likely to commit repeated acts of sexual violence; and

-- Posting of information for all levels of registered sex offenders on the Department of Criminal Justice Services web site.