NEW YORK GETS A FAILING GRADE (22 states received ‘F’ rating in national survey examining the application of sex offender regulation)
According to a national survey that tracks how states apply Megan's Law, dozens of states don't provide as much information as they can about sex offenders who are released from prisons, creating a false sense of security and placing communities in peril. The 22 states receiving an F include New York, California, Oregon, Washington, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. They scored below 60 points in the rating system devised using the Parents for Megan's Law survey. New Jersey, which has 10,028 offenders and was the site of the July 1994 rape and murder that sparked Megan's Law, got a C, scoring 70 points. The survey was sent to all 50 states in June and sought to compare each state's laws and procedures with the ones the group thinks would be ideal. Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan's Law in Stony Brook said the ratings are based on responses from state officials to 10 uniform questions about how the public is notified about sex offenders and whether they have civil commitment laws. Communities believe they are being given as much information as they need to protect themselves and their children from sex offenders, said Ahearn. But that's not the case. This clearly demonstrates some states are very proactive and ensure the community has access to sex offenders information compared to others which have limited access. The three states that received an A+ rating for scoring 100 points are Florida, Texas and Maryland. The states rated an A for scoring 90 points are North Dakota and Nebraska. Ahearn said forty-eight states and the District of Columbia participated in the survey. Utah and Louisiana did not respond.