Berkeley CSUA MOTD:Entry 52631
Berkeley CSUA MOTD
2018/08/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

2009/2/24-3/3 [Politics/Domestic/California, Politics/Domestic/Crime] UID:52631 Activity:nil
2/24    Megan's Law doesn't work:
2018/08/16 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular

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Maryann Spoto/The Star-Ledger Saturday February 07, 2009, 6:50 AM Megan's Law, the landmark legislation that brought a new level of scrutiny to convicted sex offenders, has failed to deter sex crimes or reduce the number of victims since its passage 15 years ago, a new study concludes. Daniel Hulshizer/APMaureen Kanka is reflected in a Sept. "Despite wide community support for these laws, there is little evidence to date, including this study, to support a claim that Megan's Law is effective in reducing either new first-time sex offenses or sexual re-offenses," the researchers wrote in a 44-page report. The study is the latest in a string of efforts to measure the effectiveness of Megan's Law, which has been adopted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. Those earlier studies also found the measure does not act as a deterrent. Defense lawyers and civil libertarians, who have long opposed the law and who have fought in court to overturn it, seized on Friday's findings, calling on lawmakers to dismantle what has grown into an elaborate system for tracking sex offenders and notifying communities of their presence. Megan's Law supporters pushed right back, calling the measure a vital tool for parents to protect their children. Bill Baroni (R-Mercer), said the study "completely misses the objective" of the law. "Any attempt to use this study to weaken or erode Megan's Law will never succeed," he said. The law is named for Megan Kanka, who was 7 when a neighbor lured her into his Hamilton Township home on July 29, 1994, raped and killed her. Residents of the block were unaware the neighbor, Jesse Timmendequas, was a convicted sex offender. Timmendequas is now serving life in prison In an atmosphere of statewide outrage, Megan's Law was passed by year's end. It requires convicted sex offenders to register with police after their release from prison and to notify authorities if they move. In cases where an offender is deemed most dangerous, the entire community is notified. By 2002, the names of sex offenders also had been entered in a searchable on-line registry operated by the State Police. Megan's mother, Maureen Kanka, who pushed for the law's passage in New Jersey and other states, said in a telephone interview Friday that Megan's Law was working just as intended. "The purpose of the law was to provide an awareness to parents," said Kanka, who still lives in Hamilton. "It was put there for parents to know where the offenders are living. We never said it was going to stop them from reoffending or wandering to another town." She said she was confident the law would not be repealed, and she dismissed the cost of carrying out the measure as "pennies" when placed in context with the billions of dollars the state spends every year. The study, funded by the National Institute of Justice, examined the cases of 550 sex offenders who were broken into two groups -- those released from prison before the passage of Megan's Law and those released afterward. The researchers found no statistically significant difference between the groups in whether the offenders committed new sex crimes. Among those released before the passage of Megan's Law, 10 percent were re-arrested on sex-crime charges. Among the other group, 76 percent were re-arrested for such crimes. Similarly, the researchers found no significant difference in the number of victims of the two groups. Most of the offenders had prior relationships with their new victims, and nearly half were family members. In just 16 percent of the cases, the offender was a stranger. One complicating factor for the researchers is that sex crimes had started to decline even before the adoption of Megan's Law, making it difficult to pinpoint cause and effect. In addition, sex offenses vary from county to county, rising and falling from year to year. Even so, the researchers noted an "accelerated" decline in sex offenses in the years after the law's passage. "Although the initial decline cannot be attributed to Megan's Law, the continued decline may, in fact, be related in some way to registration and notification activities," the authors wrote. Elsewhere in the report, they noted that notification and increased surveillance of offenders "may have a general deterrent effect." Whatever the report's caveats, those who oppose Megan's Law said the findings reinforce their beliefs that the measure fails to improve public safety even as it violates the rights of people who have served their time in prison. "We now find that for the past 15 years we have left the public with a false sense of security," said Michael Buncher, who heads the Special Hearings Unit in the state Public Defender's Office. "Unfortunately, it appears that Megan's Law does not work. Deborah Jacobs, exeuctive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey, called such laws "political Band-Aids that don't stay on." "It's long overdue for the New Jersey Legislature to let go of what they consider the political value of 'tough on sex offenders first' and start focusing on helping the victims," she said. how about his personal information follow him everywhere with Sexual Predator attached to it. These findings do not provide info on what other crimes these people commit. Do Not take away the little bit of law enforcement we are allowed against these predators. How about figuring out a way to have the criminal records follow the criminal. Prisons do not deter new crime nor does it really effect recidivism but no one is advocating doing away with prisons. The only peole that would end Megans's Law on the basis of this study are the pedophiles themselves, the people who love them and their scum bag attornies. It is not establish to punish offenders who have paid their debt in jail time or humiliate them, even though warranted. It is largely to put locals on notice of the offenders in their area. It allows parents children to have an opportunity to protect them. This law perpetuates the myth that most sex offenders will be snatching up some random kid from the neighborhood to be their next victim. Studies continue to show that the overwhelming majority of sex offenders gain access to their victims from family members. This law provides a false sense of security and it is no surprise it has done nothing to deter sex offenses. Many are led to believe they have to live in fear of letting their kids wander the streets alone when they are more likely to be victims of a sex crime at their family reunion than they are wandering around the neighboring. This is not a liberal, conservative, Democrat or Republican issues. This is reality and people who pass law based on emotion have no sense of what works and what does not. The study found that sex offenders had a relatively low rate of recidivism both before and after the implementation of Megan's Law. The vast majority of sex crimes are committed by first time offenders, not repeat offenders. A recent study of New York registry laws had the same results. The NY study found that 95% of those arrested for sex crimes were first time offenders. It found that sex offender registration and notification laws necessarily will have little effect in reducing the number of sex crimes. Pecking order of rights in the Democratic People's Republic of NJ in case anybody needed to be beaten over the head with a crowbar as a reminder...... Politicians Unions Environmentalists Liberal Media Homosexuals Illegal Immigrants Criminals Terrorists Inner city welfare mothers Sex Offenders Corporations and small businesses Military Private Property Owners Unborn Children Christians Gun Owners Smokers Taxpayers Inappropriate? It was never set up to "cure molesters" but to keep parents alerted and in that case it is very successful. zur78910 I am beginning to think on your lines exactly your last sentence. At least when my taxes go up this year it won't be because of this law. The people of NJ have been saying for years that they want to pay less taxes across the board and now you have to live with what you cryed out for. The whole yearly bidget stinks with money collected from taxes but if you want less money going towa...