Senator Nozzolio Announces Senate Passes Bill To Toughen Megan’s Law

Michael F. Nozzolio

March 05, 2008

Albany- State Senator Michael F. Nozzolio (R-Fayette), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Crime Victims, Crime, and Correction announced that the Senate acted today on legislation requiring the lifetime registration of sex offenders and prevent sexual predators from coming off the State sex offender registry later this month.

“Strengthening the notification provisions of Megan’s law will help keep our communities safer from individuals who prey on women and children. Enacted in 1995, Megan’s law was a historic piece of legislation that must be updated and improved upon,” said Senator Nozzolio. “We cannot allow these dangerous offenders to blend back into society simply because ten years has passed. This legislation will keep our neighborhoods better informed and protected from the predators who prey on the most vulnerable members of our communities -- our children.”

Currently, 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 will be dropped from the registry because they have met the 10-year mandate to keep police posted of their whereabouts. Hundreds more will drop off the sex offender registry each month thereafter, totaling over 3,500 offenders by the end of 2006.

The bill that was acted on by the State Senate today would mandate lifetime registration for all levels of sex offenders. The bill does include a provision that would allow certain level one offenders to petition for a relief of duty to register after a minimum of twenty years.

This legislation is the first step in a series of bills the Senate will act on this month to toughen New York’s sex offender laws. Next week, the Senate plans to act on legislation that would provide for the civil commitment of sexually violent predators after they’ve completed their prison sentence in order to protect the public from criminals likely to commit repeated acts of sexual violence.

“The immediate issue that has to be resolved is preventing known sex offenders from coming off the registry. “Loopholes in the current law have allowed sex offenders to live undetected and it is critical that we strengthen Megan’s Law and help ensure children are kept out of harm’s way,” Nozzolio concluded.