AFTER TIME SERVED, MORE TIME (Bill: Hospitalize sex offenders)
Saying that women and children need protection from sexual predators inclined to strike again once they are released from prison, Assemblyman Steven Labriola, a Massapequa Park Republican, is calling for passage of a civil confinement law that would keep high-risk offenders locked up even after serving their sentences. The bill would keep sex offenders who are most likely to re-offend and who have great difficulty controlling their behavior confined in mental institutions until they are deemed rehabilitated. Labriola said the bill would affect a small portion of the offenders in the highest-risk category, so-called Level 3 offenders, who are deemed by the state most likely to reoffend based on guidelines that include the type of offense and the person's criminal history. There are about 15,000 registered sex offenders in New York State. Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law, an organization that monitors the state's sex offender registry, was not at the news conference but said she supports the concept of the bill. Civil commitment will, without question, protect women and children from sexual victimization, she said.