Albany -- New York State Senator John J. Flanagan (R,C-East Northport) announced that the New York State Senate today passed legislation (S.6409) to mandate lifetime registration for the most dangerous sex offenders and prevent sex offenders from coming off the registry this week. Agreement on this bill was announced yesterday by the joint legislative conference committee on the sex offender registry created by Megan’s Law.
"I am pleased that my colleagues from both parties and both chambers put partisan politics aside for the safety and security of our families," said Senator Flanagan. "People deserve to know about the presence of rapists and pedophiles in their community especially since study after study shows that sex offenders are likely to repeat their crimes again and again."
"I want to commend the joint legislative conference committee for their hard work in reaching this agreement before hundreds of sex offenders were allowed to simply vanish from the registry and blend back into society, where they could pose a dangerous threat to our children and our communities," said Senator Bruno. "This legislation will keep our neighborhoods better protected from the predators who prey on the most vulnerable members of our communities -- our children."
The legislation mandates lifetime registration for level two and level three offenders. Level two offenders will be allowed to petition for removal from the registry after a minimum of thirty years. Level one offenders will be required to register for twenty years, and will automatically drop off the registry after twenty years.
Under current law, most sex offenders are only required to register for ten years. On January 21, 2006, the 10th anniversary of the effective date of New York State’s sex offender registry, 168 sex offenders were scheduled to be dropped from the registry because they have met the 10-year mandate to keep police posted of their whereabouts. Hundreds more were scheduled to drop off the sex offender registry each month thereafter, totaling over 3,500 offenders by the end of 2006.
"It is critical that we continue to do everything we can to help families protect their children, especially from dangerous sexual offenders who prey on young people," Senator Flanagan concluded.