|State House:||Room 519-C |
11 S. Union Street
Montgomery, AL 36130
|District:||Post Office Box 4353 |
Gadsden, AL 35904-4353
|Home Phone: ||(256) 442-7517|
Be sure to focus on the Judicial committee as well. ReFORM Alabama opposes this bill in every aspect excet the "Romeo and Juliet" provision. The intent is bring Alabama more in tune with the controversial Adam Walsh Act.
Proposed law would tighten sex offender requirements
Published: Friday, April 22, 2011 at 9:27 p.m.
Alabama already has some of the toughest laws in the United States for convicted sex offenders, but Rep. Blaine Galliher, R-Rainbow City, has introduced legislation to make them even tighter.
The bill is out of committee in the House and Senate and could come up for a vote during this session.
“It brings the state into compliance with federal laws and strengthens the current law and closes some loopholes,” Galliher said.
Current sex offender laws are addressed in three or four sections of the state law's code books, but this bill places it all in one section.
“It makes it easier to read and comprehend,” Galliher said.
The law would prohibit an adult sex offender from living within 2,000 feet of the victim, rather than 1,000 feet, Galliher said.
It also adds a restriction prohibiting a sex offender from working within 2,000 feet of a school or child care facility.
It requires juveniles who commit violent offenses to follow the same guidelines as adult sex offenders and prohibits the youthful offender laws from being a factor in those cases.
Sex offenders also would be required to verify registration every three months instead of six months.
Anyone who is homeless now will be required to check in with law enforcement every week.
The new law also makes it a requirement for all convicted sex offenders, regardless of when the offense or conviction occurred, to register for the rest of their lives.
It will require sex offenders to provide more information to law enforcement and the sex offender public registry website, such as their employers, license plate numbers, vehicle information, telephone numbers, Internet identifiers and email addresses. The public registry website also will require a criminal history of all sex-related crimes.
The sex offender now must register within three days of changing or updating any information or within three days of entering a county to live, work or attend school.
There is a substantial revision for the process that determines if someone is a considered to be a sexual predator. It no longer will be based on mental issues, but on the person's prior record.
The law also prohibits sex offenders from contacting or harassing their victims.
One of the loopholes the bill addresses is requiring all sex offenders to sign a form each time they register, stating they understand their responsibility.
There also is a new provision addressing consensual sex.
If there is no more than four years' difference in the ages of the juvenile offender and victim and the sexual contact is consensual, it is at a judge's discretion to determine if the offender must register as a sex offender.
Sheriff Todd Entrekin said the tougher law is going to create more work for the sheriff's office, but that is a problem he doesn't mind.
“It will push more of the sex offenders out into the county, because the 2,000-feet requirement will make it more difficult for there to be places that sex offenders can live in the cities,” he said. “But it's worth it. Anything we can do to keep up with these sex offenders, we're going to do our part.”
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