TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Fred Madden (D – Gloucester, Camden) that would ensure sex offenders are registering with local authorities has cleared the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
The bill, S1413, would require the state’s Attorney General to conduct an annual review of certain former offenders who were released from incarceration or involuntary commitment in the previous calendar year. The goal would be to ensure individuals who were required to register as sex offenders properly registered with local law enforcement.
“When it comes to protecting our children and families, we can never be too vigilant. Putting this kind of system in place will ensure that those who are supposed to be registered with local authorities will be registered. It is a fairly simple way to make sure the law is working as intended,” said Madden.
Currently, an individual must register as a sex offender if he or she has been convicted, adjudicated delinquent, or acquitted by reason of insanity of certain enumerated “sex crimes”; or ordered to register as a sex offender in another area and is either enrolled in an educational institution or is employed or carries on a vocation in New Jersey, on either a full-time or a part-time basis, with or without compensation, for more than 14 consecutive days or for an aggregate period exceeding 30 days in a calendar year.
An individual who is required to register does so with the chief law enforcement officer of the municipality in which he or she resides. Absent a local police department, an individual registers with the State Police. Additionally, those who register are given tiered designations representing their level of risk. Tier One is for low risk offenders; Tier Two is for moderate risk offenders; and Tier Three is for high risk offenders. In addition to ensuring offenders are registered, the bill would also require they be tiered as well.
The legislation now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.