News From New York State
Senator Shirley L. Huntley
For Immediate Release: May 26, 2011
Contact: Antonio Rodriguez | firstname.lastname@example.org | (518) 455-3531
Senator Huntley Acts to Protect New York’s Youth;
Bill Increases Punishment for Repeat Offenders
Advocates passage of legislation making Endangering the Welfare of a Child Class E felony
In an effort led by Senator Shirley L. Huntley (D-Jamaica), the New York State Senate passed legislation that will increase the penalties for those who repeatedly endanger the welfare of a child – keeping dangerous individuals off our streets and our children safer. The bill, S. 593-A, changes current law to make it a class E felony to commit the crime of Endangering the Welfare of a Child for the second time.
“We must recognize the vulnerabilities of children and also be proactive in stopping those with clear patterns of abuse from harming them,” said Senator Huntley. “As legislators and citizens it is our duty to ensure children are safe from physical and emotional abuse. I am extremely pleased that this legislation closes a dangerous loophole in the current law and dramatically ups the penalty for repeat offenders.”
At the moment the penal law only provides a misdemeanor crime for endangering the welfare of a child, without regard to the past history of the perpetrator. Studies have shown that people with histories of violence and abuse directed towards children are likely to repeat these types of offenses even after arrest or incarceration. This bill addresses this issue and creates a felony crime of endangering the welfare of a child in circumstances under which an individual has previously been charged with child endangerment (in the first or second degree).
In Southeast Queens which encompasses much of Senator Huntley’s 10th Senatorial District schools will be closed for the summer and children will have more free time. Also parents will have to compensate for a lack of supervision, and in some cases the unfamiliarity of having to supervise your child at all times during the summer has led to endangering crimes.
Children who otherwise would have been in school may have no other place to go during the summer and maybe subjected to abuse from their parents and/or guardians.
Additionally, the Senate recently passed Brittany’s Law, which creates violent offenders registry in an effort to continue to fight back against crimes against our youth.
This legislation awaits action in the Assembly.