TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senator Fred H. Madden and Senate President Steve Sweeney, which would call for the annual review of former sex offenders has been unanimously approved by the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.
“Through this bill, we would put into place a set of checks and balances to ensure that sex offenders who were required to register and be tiered, have done so,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester. “Unfortunately, sometimes sex offenders reoffend, even after having served time for their transgressions. This legislation would help the State fulfill its commitment to protecting the health and safety of all New Jerseyans.”
“We cannot be lulled into thinking that just because a sex offender has been let out of prison that they must be living up to the letter and spirit of Megan’s Law,“ said Senate President Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “Residents need the peace of mind that comes from knowing that law enforcement has a constant watch on sex offenders who have been released and allowed back into the community, to ensure they are in complete and ongoing compliance with the law.”
The Senators’ measure, S-778, would call upon the Attorney General to conduct an annual review of all sex offenders who were released from prison or involuntary commitment within the previous calendar year.
Under current law, an individual is required to register as a sex offender in New Jersey if he or she has been found guilty of sexual assault or has been ordered to register as a sex offender in another state. Newly released offenders must register in the municipality where they reside, within 48 hours of release. Registered offenders who move to New Jersey must register within ten days of arrival. Failure to register is considered a third degree crime, which is punishable by fines of up to $15,000 and five years in prison.
This measure now heads to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee for approval. #