October 3, 2011

NY Enacts New Sex Offender Law Which Increases Danger to Public

10-3-2011 New York:

On September 23, Gov. Cuomo announced a list of bills
that he has approved. Among them was a bill that requires Level 2 registered sex offenders to report their employment addresses. (Level 3 offenders all already required to do so). This new law requires the employment addresses to be posted on the Internet registry. This law applies retroactively to all Level 2 registered sex offenders, including those who have lived and worked safely in the community for up to 15 years. (While most with criminal convictions find that the consequences of their convictions decrease over time, the consequences of a conviction for a sex offense often increase with the passage of time).

A recent study has found that such policies make communities less safe. Recidivism is more likely in the absence of stable employment and stable housing. This law will cause some former offenders to lose their jobs and make it much harder for others to find employment.

This new law is not based on any facts or research, quite the opposite. Illinois lawmakers recently pointed out that the main reason lawmakers vote for such laws is that they are afraid not to. There is too much political risk in appearing soft on sex offenders, even if legislation is counter productive. Sadly, elected officials would rather increase the risk to communities than increase the political risk to themselves. ..Source: Sex Offenders: A Reality Based Discussion blog..

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