New Jersey Lawmakers Introduce Legislation Increasing Penalties for Concealing and Harboring Sex Offenders
The New Jersey Senate Law and Public Safety Committee advanced bill S-622 this month. The proposal would make hindering the apprehension and prosecution of a sex offender attempting to evade registration and monitoring requirements under Megan's Law a crime of the third degree with a mandatory minimum sentence of three years in prison.
The legislation to strengthen laws against those who harbor sex offenders was sponsored by Senator Tom Kean, Jr. (R- Union). "Given the rate of recidivism among convicted sex offenders and the heinous nature of their crimes, those who harbor these individuals must also be held accountable. The public has a right to know when sex offenders are inhabiting their communities, and those who stand in the way of that right deserve to be brought to justice, said Kean"
Stop Child Predators applauds Senator Tom Kean and the members of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee for approving this important measure. By advancing this bill, New Jersey is one step closer to becoming the 45th state to pass Jessica's Law - referring to the Jessica Lunsford Act passed in Florida that mandates a minimum sentence of 25 years and a maximum of life in prison for first-time child sex offenders.
Through outreach, education, and advocacy, Stop Child Predators is dedicated to advancing three goals in every state across the USA:
- Penalty enhancements - Under current federal law, and in six states, offenders convicted of aggravated sexual abuse, abusive sexual contact, or sexual exploitation against children may not face imprisonment. Stop Child Predators is working with lawmakers and law enforcement to establish penalty enhancements for those found guilty of committing sexual offenses against children.
- Integrated nationwide sex offender registry - Twenty-three states have lost track of between 10% and 50% of their sex offenders. Stop Child Predators is committed to promoting an efficient and seamless integrated nationwide sex offender registry that is easily accessible to all communities.
- Victims' representation - Stop Child Predators believes strongly in protecting the rights of and providing a voice for all victims. Victims and their families should not only be heard during the sentencing of child predators, they should also be notified prior to the offender's release into the community.
Stop Child Predators is committed to advancing these goals in the battle to keep children safe from predators. It will be impossible to advance such initiatives without partners like Senator Tom Kean and members of the Senate Law and Public Safety Committee.