NEW YORK: THE RULES UNDER ‘MEGAN’S LAW’: STILL EVOLVING IN COURTS, PRACTICE
Under a 1995 law, convicted sex offenders are required to register with the state when they are released from prison. By checking with their local police department, the public can view photographs and learn the names and addresses of sexual predators, or by calling 900-288-3838 and paying a $5 fee. Because Megan's Law does not include guidelines about when and how the information should be distributed, the use of the data is being shaped by the courts. Some schools send home pictures and addresses when the most serious offenders move into the district and some schools choose not to notify parents even though they have the information. Real estate agents and home sellers have no obligation to disclose the presence of a sex offender in the neighborhood, according to a State Supreme Court ruling. The number of sex offenders on the state register on Long Island, as of March 10: Suffolk 406, Nassau 246. Total Suffolk and Nassau 10,306.