March 13, 2015

New York Senate Passes Comprehensive Sex Offender Legislation Package

3-13-15 New York:

The state Senate earlier this month approved a package of legislation designed to provide better protection for children and victims of sexual assault from sex offenders, according to Sen. Joe Addabbo, Jr. (D-Howard Beach).

The series of bills consists of initiatives that

  • would prohibit sex offenders who are on parole, on probation or conditionally discharged from being within 1,000 feet of a child daycare facility whenever anyone under 18 years of age is on the premises;
  • allow the state’s searchable sex-offender registry information to provide not only the ZIP code of sex offender home residences, but also the ZIP code of their place of employment;
  • prevent Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders—those who have committed the most serious crimes—from living within 1,500 feet of their victim;
  • restrict all Level 1, 2 and 3 registered sex offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a school;
  • prohibit sex offenders whose victims were children, as well as all of the most serious Level 3 offenders, from knowingly being within 1,000 feet of a facility offering kindergarten or pre-kindergarten classes;
  • require school districts, after receiving notice from law enforcement agencies, to notify parents when Level 2 or Level 3 sex offenders are residing in the district;
  • allow municipalities to establish their own residency restrictions for registered sex offenders as long as the local laws are not less stringent than state law;
  • more clearly define “residency” to prevent sex offenders from legally registering at one address while spending most of their time at another location;
  • and speed up required court hearings to assess the risk level of convicted sex offenders so that they are not released upon probation, payment of a fine, or upon conditional/unconditional discharge before their risk level is determined.
Additionally, Addabbo is the co-sponsor of legislation which would prohibit the placement of Level 2 and 3 sex offenders in any temporary emergency housing or homeless shelters that are used to provide lodging for families with children.

“A recent investigation determined there are registered sex offenders currently living in a number of Queens family shelters, including the Rockaways and South Ozone Park,” Addabbo said. “This is a matter of great concern to me. Families who are already in dire straits with nowhere to live on their own should not have to worry that their children are being exposed to potentially dangerous criminals.”

The legislation package will now be forwarded to the Assembly for consideration and possible action. ..Source.. by Michael V. Cusenza

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