Avella Pushes Legislation for Swifter Sex Offender Risk Assessment

Tony Avella

January 04, 2012

By Lauren Evans

The Senate voted 60-1 on a measure that would speed up the risk assessment of convicted sex offenders.

Sex offenders may soon be assessed of their risk level in a more timely manner, thanks to legislation introduced by Sen. Tony Avella (D-Bayside), which was passed by the Senate on Thursday by a vote of 60-1.

The bill requires that a sex offender's "risk level" be assessed 20 days prior to sentencing or release from incarceration, rather than 45 days after sentencing as the law currently stands.

A risk determination hearing would be held within five days of the conviction for any sex offender expected to be released on probation or discharged.

“There is no reason that known sex offenders should be residing in our neighborhoods without knowing the danger they present,” Avella said in a statement.

The legislation comes on the heels of a January incident in Flushing, in which a convicted sex offender allegedly contacted a minor through Facebook while volunteering at a school.

According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there is one Level 2 sex offender currently living in Little Neck; another resides in Douglaston.

A "Level 2” designation means that an individual is at “moderate risk of repeat offense.”