Thursday, December 15, 2011

Pennsylvania will soon be included on national sex offender registry

Information provided by Senate Republican Communications Office:
Legislation intended to improve the state's efforts to track and prosecute sex offenders and include Pennsylvania in a national sex offender registry received final approval in the Senate and is now headed to the Governor for his signature, according to Senator Jane Orie, the bill's sponsor.
Orie said the bill brings the Commonwealth in compliance with the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. Pennsylvania will become part of coordinated and comprehensive national sex offender registry and will be required to meet strict standards for posting offender information on a centralized Internet data base. The Act was named for Adam Walsh who was abducted from a Florida shopping mall and later found murdered.

Senate Bill 1183 also closes loopholes in Megan's Law regarding homeless offenders and out-of-state offenders to ensure that they register under Megan's Law and more carefully track their whereabouts.
"This legislation will help us join other states in a national effort to monitor offenders, better enforce our child protection laws and, most importantly, keep children safe," Orie said. "Rather than having a patchwork of state laws and reporting requirements, we will be sharing information and resources that could help to save lives and ensure that predators are apprehended and prosecuted."
The legislation also:
  • Increases the amount of information collected from each offender and requires Pennsylvania to include more information on its Megan's Law website. In addition, Pennsylvania State Police would be required to communicate registration information with federal, state and local police departments more quickly than they currently do.
  • Extends the registration requirement to juvenile offenders who commit rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, aggravated indecent assault, or an attempt or conspiracy to commit these offenses.
  • Expands the list of sexually violent offenses subject to the law and groups offenders into multiple classifications, depending on the severity of the offense.
Orie thanked Governor Tom Corbett, Senate Judiciary Chairman Stewart Greenleaf and Senator John Rafferty and House Judiciary Chairmen Ron Marsico and Thomas Caltagirone for their work on the bill and for ensuring that the bill was adopted by the General Assembly prior to the end of the year

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