NEW YORK: SEX OFFENDER DATA IS STILL RESTRICTED
New Jersey's Megan's Law notifications were stopped by a federal appeals court that finds that the release of sex offenders' home addresses violated their constitutional rights. New York's version of Megan's Law remains unaffected by the ruling. Unfortunately, to find out about New York State's worst offenders will cost you $5 for a phone call to a 900-telephone number or you have to go to police headquarters in Manhattan. The state does not make it easy to find out where registered sex offenders live. A nonprofit parents' group called Parents for Megan's Law based in Stony Brook, LI, launched a Web site last week containing a database of the most serious sex offenders. Laura Ahearn, founder and executive director of the organization said the site is meant to be a starting point, not a substitute for research. Do not be lulled into a false sense of security if you do not find someone in your county, she said. It took volunteers more than a year to hand copy the information from subdirectories of only Level 3 offenders that are kept by police. The Web site address is www.parentsformeganslaw.com. and is free of charge. The state's sex offender registry information line is 1-900-288-3838 and is available weekdays between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.