Senator John Flanagan (2nd Senate District) announced today that legislation he sponsored to expand information available through the New York State Sex Offender Registry has passed both houses of the New York State Legislature. The legislation, which must be approved by the Governor, would expand the registry by posting information about more sex offenders on the Internet and allowing law enforcement to distribute information aboutoffenders to the community.
"The original idea of Megan's Law was to provide as much information as possible to the parents and community members throughout Long Island. These changes will allow for greater notification, for greater awareness and for a greater sense of security," stated Senator Flanagan. "This is another step in building on this effective law and we must continue to build on this success."
"The sex offender registry is only effective if we provide the maximum information to parents and I applaud Senator Flanagan for enhancing this important tool. This change will enable the parents of our community to better protect their children and that was the original goal of Megan's Law," stated Parents for Megan's Law Executive Director Laura Ahearn. "Since parents are responsible for their children, they deserve to know that the people they live near and the people who work in the stores their children go to are not sexual predators. This change will make accessing that information easier."
The legislation would expand the information available on the Criminal Justice Services' web site by adding information regarding Level 2 sex offenders, those who are a moderate risk to offend again, to the on-line sex offender registry.
This change would mean that both Level 2 and Level 3 offenders would be required to have a photo and other vital information, including address and place of employment, available via the Internet for access by concerned residents.
For information about the registry and to view the current listing of Level 3 offenders, please CLICK HERE.
This information would also be sent, on a monthly basis, to local law enforcement for public access. This would allow those who do not have Internet access to view the same information that is available on-line.
Additionally, this legislation would expand the power of the local law enforcement community to provide information concerning Level 1 offenders, those considered to be the lowest risk to repeat their crime, to any entity with populations that may be at risk. Currently, law enforcement agencies are only permitted to provide information about Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders.
This information would include the name of the offender, the approximate address by zip code, the crime of conviction, mode of operation, type of victim targeted, a description of any special conditions imposed on the offender and the name and address of any institution of higher education at which the offender is enrolled, attends, is employed, or resides.
The bill was sent to the Governor for action.