Raia, Assembly Minority Win Fight To Secure Civil Confinement

Long fight by Assembly Minority secured agreement
March 1, 2007

Assemblyman Andrew Raia (R,C,I,WF-East Northport) today announced that after many long years a bipartisan agreement on civil confinement has been reached. The agreement comes on the eve of the fourteenth anniversary of the first proposal by the Assembly Minority Conference.

“Through a long-standing fight for the safety of our families, my Assembly Minority colleagues and I have made this agreement a reality,” Raia said. “The families in our community who have been vital in this important fight should know that today marks a major victory in our ongoing mission to keep our neighborhoods safe from dangerous sexual predators.”

Under the agreement, the most dangerous sex offenders will be confined in a secure mental health facility following their prison sentence if screening panels of mental health officials deem them a threat to society.

Additional initiatives contained in the agreement include:

  • Establishment of a new state Office of Sex Offender Management that will coordinate all areas related to sex offenders and victim assistance. Duties of the office include post release supervision, treatment, monitoring, risk assessment, civil commitment, community awareness and victim assistance
  • Allow judges the option to impose intensive supervision as an alternative to civil confinement
  • Strengthens criminal penalties for sex offenders and broadens the category of sexual offense to include crimes motivated by sexual violence
  • Mandates determinate (fixed) sentencing for sex offenders.

New York joins 16 other states and the District of Columbia that currently have laws authorizing the confinement of sex offenders.

Since taking office in 2003, Raia has been a prominent leader in combating sex offenders in our community. As one of the founding members of S.A.V.E-New York – the Assembly Minority Task Force on Sex Crimes against Children and Women, Raia worked toward forging a comprehensive bipartisan agreement on a number of measures related to sex offenders including civil confinement. In past years, Raia has collected thousands of signatures from his constituents calling for civil confinement.

“The vast support for civil confinement is overwhelming,” Raia said. “I cannot wait to enact this agreement into law and help provide the peace of mind to families in Suffolk County who will be further protected from violent sex offenders.”