Ten years after the enactment of legislation creating New York State’s Sex Offender Registry, the State Senate Majority will hold public hearings that 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.
Megan’s mother, Maureen Kanka joined members of the Senate Majority Conference, including Senator Marty Golden, today to announce the hearings, which began today in Albany. Maureen Kanka was the first person to speak at the hearing.
"For the last decade, Megan’s Law has empowered parents and concerned members of the community with the information they need to protect our children from sexual predators. Strengthening the notification provisions of Megan’s law will help keep our communities safer from individuals who prey on women and children," said Senator Marty Golden.
"Megan’s Law is truly one of the ground breaking criminal justice measures in the history of New York State," Senator Marty Golden. "However, after a decade of experience there are improvements that can and must be made to make Megan’s Law even stronger. The hearings will explore many proposals to expand Megan’s Law to make our communities, and our children, more safe by cracking down on sex offenders and improving notification."
In 1995, 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, in which Senator Golden is a member of, will hold two 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.
The second public hearing will be held on Long Island later this month.