Connors, Rumpf & Gove: Determine Sexual Predators’ Risk of Re-Offense Before Their Release from Prison
To build upon the protections provided under Megan’s Law, Senator Christopher J. Connors, Assemblyman Brian E. Rumpf and Assemblywoman DiAnne C. Gove have reintroduced legislation (S-253 and A-1142) to require that the county prosecutors determine a sexual offender’s risk of re-offense, or tier, prior to the inmate’s release from incarceration. Prosecutors classify sex offenders in one of three tiers based on the degree of risk they pose to the public: low risk (Tier 1), moderate risk (Tier 2), or high risk (Tier 3).
The 9th District delegation issued the following statement regarding their sexual offender legislative initiative:
“A defect within existing law prevents sex offenders from being tiered until they have been released into the community. Currently, an offender’s residence status is a factor that is considered in determining risk of re-offense. Removing the residency factor used in the determination process, as our legislation proposes, would provide that sexual offenders are tiered before they are released into the community.
We've reintroduced a bill to require a sexual offender's risk of re-offense be determined prior to release from jail https://t.co/J3qMAHmyMY
— Connors, Rumpf, Gove (@9thDistrictNJ) April 22, 2016
“Given the transient nature of sexual offenders, it’s not uncommon for these individuals to flee before ever being tiered. Obviously, this seriously complicates the efforts of law enforcement.
“Tiering classifications determine the level of community notification, which is at the heart of Megan’s Law. This includes such information as an offender’s name, description and photograph, address, place of employment or school if applicable, a description of the offender’s vehicle and license plate number, and a brief description of the offense.
“While our legislation enjoys bipartisan-sponsorship in both Houses, several years have passed since it received committee consideration. When considering the severity of crimes committed by sexual predators, it would be foolhardy not to address this defect in our state’s Megan’s Law. To us, this is a common sense proposal deserving of immediate consideration.”
Upon reintroduction, S-253 was referred to the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee while A-1142 was referred to the Assembly Judiciary Committee.