NEW YORK STATE JOINS FEDERAL SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY (US To Strengthen Requirements?)
New York recently joined the United States Department of Justice's national sex offender public registry website. The national website compiles a list of sex offenders directly from the state websites. However, only level three sex offenders are listed on the state website, and will therefore be listed on the national website. Jessica Scaperotti, spokesperson for the New York State Department of Justice, said The governor has called for a strengthening of Megan's Law in order to have all sex offenders listed on the website, noting that a bill to do just that passed the state Senate, and is still pending in the state Assembly.
People have to be aware that there is a tremendous amount of limitations, said Laura Ahearn, director of Parents for Megan's Law, about the national website. It still can be very helpful, but the problem is we have a national registry that is only going to have as much information as each state has. Ahearn pointed to recent federal legislation that would, among other things, make it mandatory for states to place the names of all registered sex offenders online. The bill, entitled the Children's Safety Act of 2005, was passed this September in the House of Representatives, and is moving on to the US Senate, where Ahearn believes it will also go through. It's a complete overhaul that will make Megan's Law more uniform across the nation, she explained.