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Sex Predator Hearings Could Speed Up Under New Bill

Avella bill would speed up risk level determination process for sex offenders.

The state Senate has passed a bill proposed by Sen. Tony Avella, D-Bayside, that would speed up the .

The legislation would ensure that offenders are officially categorized under the state's Sex Offender Registration Act prior to their sentencing or release from incarceration.

The state Senate unanimously voted in favor of the bill on Wednesday, but the state Assembly has yet to act on the legislation.

"There is no reason that known sex offenders should be residing in our neighborhoods without [communities] knowing the danger they present," Avella said.

Current laws stipulate that risk level determination hearings for sex offenders must take place at least 45 days after notice of the hearing that is provided upping sentencing.

Avella's bill would require that notice of a risk level hearing be given to the offender and district attorney within five days of the conviction for those who are expected to be released on probation or discharged.

The legislation calls for the hearing to be held within 20 days of the notice and prior to sentencing.

Avella proposed the bill following the 2011 arrest of convicted sex offender , who violated probation by volunteering at northeast Queens Catholic schools, including St. Mel's in Whitestone.

State Assemblyman Michael Miller, D-Woodhaven, is carrying the bill in the Assembly. 

Do you think this law would make a difference in New York City? Let us know in the comments.

Shana Rowan June 22, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Laws like this never work - if they did, then sex crime stats would show a decrease in re-offending AND first-time offenses. Of course, Avella won't tell you that they've remained the same as they were 10 years before the registry. Out of the hundreds of studies on sex offender recidivism that exist, try to find more than a couple that indicate any higher than a single-digit re-offense rate. Oh, and maybe someone should ask Avella if he's aware that Drs. Hansen and Thornton, authors of the risk assessment tool used to assign levels, have cautioned for years that it it should not be used for this purpose. Nothing more than a dime-a-dozen pandering politician, hoping the people that elected him know even less about the truth than he does.
Keith -mcdonald Charles June 25, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Why should offenders be allowed bail ?

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