Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Assembly Passes Legislation to Improve Child Safety

Assemblywoman Russell (D-Theresa) announced the passage of a package of legislation intended to increase protections for children in New York State through greater oversight of registered sex offenders. “As a parent, I want to take every step necessary to ensure the safety of my children,” said Russell. “These bills will make me, as well as all the other parents in the North Country rest a little easier knowing there is a closer eye on these heinous sex offenders. In addition, it is my hope these stricter penalties will deter many of these crimes from occurring in the first place.” Legislation passed today would enable law enforcement to better track registered sex offenders by requiring the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) to notify them if an offender listed on the statewide registry does not verify his or her address within ten days of the date the verification form was mailed (A.841). If the offender is no longer residing at the address or refuses to sign the verification documents, he or she would face a class E felony offense. Another measure approved by the Assembly today would require the DCJS to provide registry information on level 2 and 3 sex offenders to municipal housing authorities (A.3024-F). A recent report indicates that although serious sex offenders are prohibited from residing in subsidized housing, approximately one household out of every 2,100-3,000 includes a level 2 or 3 sex offender. Additional legislation would:
  • Create the crime of criminal trespass for level 2 or 3 sex offenders who enter a school where his or her victim attends or used to attend (A.2257-B);
  • Enhance information required on the sex offender registry by requiring DCJS to indicate whether a sex offender is in violation of registration requirements (A.2108) and the type and length of the registrants assigned supervision (A.10777);·
  • Require that an offender who fails to register or verify as a sex offender will have the length of time they were in violation of the law added to the duration of the registration (A.2132); and· Require level two sex offenders to disclose their employment address, including any volunteer employment (A.10276).

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