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 been signed into law by Governor George Pataki. The law will improve the registry by expanding the number of sex offender who are required to be posted on the Internet and allowing law enforcement to distribute more information about offenders to the community.
"Parents deserve to have the most up to date information available as they work to protect their children from those who would harm them. This law will enhance that ability and will expand the rights of the community and that is sorely needed," stated Senator Flanagan. "The point needs to be made that sexual predators, when they are caught and convicted, must never be allowed to harm our children again."
Laura Ahearn, Executive Director of Parents for Megan's Law, said, "Protecting children from sexual predators requires us to continually evaluate what is working and what more needs to be done. New York has taken a giant step forward for our children's safety by recognizing the need and enacting the legislation to provide parents with information about sex offenders living in our communities. There is never a wrong time to do the right thing for our children."
The new law will 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 will mean that both Level 2 and Level 3 offenders will 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.
This information will also be sent, on a monthly basis, to local law enforcement for public access. This will allow those who do not have Internet access to view the same information that is available on-line.
According to Governor Pataki's office, this change will require more than 8,000 level 2 sex offenders to be listed on the web site maintained by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). According to estimates of the DJCS, there are approximately 300 level 2 offenders in Suffolk County and 150 in Nassau County.
Additionally, this new law also expands public notice about level 1 sex offenders, those considered to be the lowest risk to repeat their crime, by authorizing local law enforcement to provide information about these sex offenders.
This information will 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 law, which was signed into law on June 23rd, is in effect now.
For information about the registry and to view the current listing of Level 2 and Level 3 offenders, please CLICK HERE.
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