Senator Nozzolio Announces Senate Approval Of Sex Offender Legislation

Michael F. Nozzolio

June 15, 2005

Albany— New York State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette) today announced that the State Senate has approved legislation he is sponsoring to strengthen sex offender laws in New York State. The two bills adopted today would require mandatory notification by law enforcement officials when a registered sex offender moves into a community, and would exclude sex offenders from eligibility for shock incarceration.

“Enactment of this legislation is critical to helping ensure that children are kept out of harms way and is another step in working to safeguard New York’s neighborhoods,” said Senator Nozzolio, Chairman of the Senate Crime Victims, Crime and Correction Committee. “I look forward to continuing to work with community leaders to keep our children secure from sexual predators and I strongly urge the State Assembly to pass these critically important pieces of legislation.”

Under current law, law enforcement agencies may use their discretion about whether to notify vulnerable populations, such as schools, of the presence of a sex offender in a neighborhood. Legislation (S.1323-A) passed today by the Senate would mandate notification of information regarding all levels of sex offenders.

“Law enforcement personnel should not be put in the position of having to decide whether or not to inform residents if a convicted sex offender moves nearby,” continued Senator Nozzolio.

Shock incarceration is an intense, highly structured six month program that allows successful graduates to be immediately eligible for parole consideration. The bill (S.4024) sponsored by Senator Nozzolio excludes all homicide and sex offenders from shock incarceration, and specifically excludes offenders convicted of incest and the use of a child in a sexual performance. The legislation also adds four other exclusions -- aggravated harassment of an employee by an inmate, enterprise corruption, hate crimes, and acts of terrorism.

The legislation adopted today was part of a package of legislation acted on by the State Senate to strengthen Megan’s law and crack down on dangerous sex offenders. Senator Nozzolio was instrumental in the State’s approval of the original Megan’s Law legislation in 1995 and has been a strong advocate for its strengthening. Recently, he conducted Senate hearings across the State to discuss issues surrounding sex offenders and strengthening Megan’s law.

The bills were sent to the Assembly.