Sex Offender Legislation Passes House - Now Write Your Senator
UPDATE: Bill HR3132 Passed In House - Help Make Sure It Becomes Law By Writing To Your Senator
The following is an editorial by John Walsh
My message is simple. It's time to hold states accountable for tracking child sex offenders, hold offenders accountable by enforcing real punishment when they fail to resgister, and to give state governments the money they need to do this once and for all.
Too many innocent children have been harmed and killed by convicted sex offenders who found ways to avoid the very system used to "track" them. The problem is growing, and needless to say, the system is insufficient.
Rather than sitting and waiting for the laws to change, I went to Capitol Hill, along with representatives of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. We marched through the halls of Congress, bringing our message straight to the hearts of those who can fix the problem.
I have some great news to report. They listened.
Members of Congress have worked together to close the loopholes and to fill in the cracks of the current sex offender registration system.
Representative Mark Foley of Florida and his staff worked for a year writing a comprehensive bill with some important conditions.
The U.S. House of Representatives has approved HR3132 creating a national registry of child abuse and neglect cases.
The establishment of the national registry was included as part of the Children's Safety Act, approved by the House.
The Provisions Of The Sex Offender Registration And Notification Act:
Sex offenders should have to reregister in person twice a year instead of once.
Violent sex offenders should have to reregister in person every three months.
A new federally maintained sex offender DNA database should be created.
The bill must fully integrate the "Megan's Law" amendment into the Wetterling Act.
The bill must develop clear guidelines to determine the threat level posed by each convicted sex offender using three levels of danger to determine who should register and how often they should be monitored by law enforcement.
The bill should mandate use of tracking devices for the worst offenders.
The bill should add to the registry people convicted of using the Internet to commit a crime against a child.
The bill should make it a felony to lie on the registry, or fail to register.
Most importantly, the bill should develop a system for states to communicate with each other when a sex offender crosses state lines.
Sex Offenders -- Flaws In The System »
Find the sex offender registry for your state »
Recent Cases Show Deadly Loopholes »
Child Sex Offenders - Definitions »
We Must Change How We Deal With Child Sexual Offenders »
How You Can Help
Even though the
House of Representatives has approved HR3132, there's still work to be done before we have an active and effective law in place. Please write to your senator telling them how much you care about this issue and that you support the ideas in S1086. It's time to stand together to protect our children. You can copy the text below into and send it to your senators. Do it today!
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I am a constituent who is very concerned about the sex offenders who live in my community. Recently, there have been many stories in the news about how the current sex offender registration and notification laws don't work, and need to be changed. I think it's a matter of life and death that you help your fellow lawmakers make this change to protect our children. I urge you to support the provisions of S1086 that would create a more comprehensive system for tracking these offenders, and improve the way information is released about these predators to our communities.
Today, there are more than 500,000 sex offenders who are supposed to be registered in the U.S.; however, it's believed that 100,000 of these offenders are 'lost' in the system. We must:
Close the loopholes between state programs, so sex offenders can't move from state to state and elude authorities.
Provide federal and state funding so law enforcement agencies have the resources to track these predators.
Make sure that information about sex offenders is released to all of our communities. Thank you for taking the time to read my views on this issue.
The time is now to tighten the tracking of sex offenders, and provide higher standards for notifying people like myself and my neighbors. I don't want one more person who's been convicted of sex crimes to be able to hide from our community and law enforcement, and prey upon our children.
Find your Senators and Representatives here:
You can learn more about S1086 and HR3132 here:
Jessica Marie Lunsford Foundation