TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator John A. Girgenti to require the Violence Institute of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) to study the implementation and application of “Megan’s Law” was unanimously approved by the full Senate today.
“‘Megan’s Law’ requires the registration by sex offenders with local law enforcement once they are released from incarceration,” said Senator Girgenti, D-Bergen and Passaic. “The law also requires public notification of the presence of certain sex offenders within the community. Studying ‘Megan’s Law’ would evaluate the current procedures for determining a sex offender’s risk level and implementing community notification.”
The bill, S-2516, would require the study to examine how the prosecutors and the courts determine the level designation that sex offenders would receive based on the details of their crime; and provide recommendations for evaluating the risk of re-offense, community notification, and the use of the Internet registry in providing information to the public about sex offenders.
“The key to Megan’s Law is providing information to parents and the community to prevent a child or loved one from becoming a victim of a devastating assault,” said Senator Girgenti. “I want to be sure that ‘Megan’s Law’ is working and address any areas that can be improved upon. It’s the responsibility of the Legislature to follow up on the laws we pass to be sure that they are effective.”
Senator Girgenti stated that the bill would also require that the study examine the use of the Internet registry in providing information to the public about sex offenders and whether a central agency should be charged with the administration of Megan’s Law.
The bills now head to the Assembly for consideration.