February 20, 2013

Proposed Megan's Law update aims to protect evacuees

JUst when you think you've heard it all, comes this... Sex offenders live next door to all sorts of folks normally, no problems, but here some stupid lawmakers thinks, in a dire emergency situation a former sex offender will think of committing a sex offense, rather than dealing with the emergency at hand. Lord where is reason?
2-20-2013 New Jersey:

TRENTON — Legislators approved a bill this month that will strengthen Megan’s Law to ensure state agencies do not place homeless and evacuated families near registered sex offenders.

The issue was brought to light last year during a train derailment and subsequent evacuation in Paulsboro. A family with two teenage daughters was relocated to a Gibbstown motel that also housed a registered sex offender.

State Sen. Fred Madden, D-Gloucester, called the bill he sponsored “common-sense legislation” that will close a dangerous loophole in the law.

“Families who are already dealing with the hardships of being evacuated from — or even worse of losing — their homes, should not be worried about who is in the motel room next door and whether their children are safe in their newfound environment,” Madden said.

“By providing those agencies that are in charge of placing families into temporary housing with the necessary information to ensure that the area is free from sex offenders, we can ensure the continued safety of our kids.”

The bill, S-1946, was approved Feb. 7 and would give the Department of Human Services, county and municipal welfare agencies access to the state’s sex offender registry when placing homeless and displaced families in emergency shelters, including hotels and motels. It awaits Gov. Chris Christie’s signature.

“It is imperative for the continued protection of our kids that the legislation evolves to keep up when issues regarding the sex offender registry arise — such as the need to provide safe temporary housing,” said state Sen. Linda Greenstein, D-Middlesex.

She noted that, as of Jan. 25, roughly 1,500 families displaced in October by Superstorm Sandy still were living in hotels or motels.

Megan’s Law was passed in 1994, only one month after the sexual assault and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka of Mercer County by her neighbor, a repeat sex offender. The law requires sex offenders to register with local law enforcement and, depending upon the severity of their crime, to notify community members when moving into a new neighborhood. ..Source.. by Phil Dunn

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