Kolb: Tough Civil Confinement Measure Needed Now

January 18, 2007

Assemblyman Brian Kolb (R,C,I –Canandaigua) is bringing safety to the foreground of legislative debate, calling for meaningful civil confinement legislation to be passed and signed into law by the governor.

“Meaningful civil confinement legislation has been delayed for too long,” Kolb said. “This law isn’t supposed to be about partisan politics – it’s about the safety of our children and families, which is why we cannot wait any longer.

“It has been more than a decade from when our conference first proposed civil confinement legislation. Now, with a governor who believes civil confinement is an issue, our conference is calling for the reconvening of a public joint conference committee to reach agreement on the issue, and is calling for swift movement without delay.”

Civil confinement legislation (A.5515) was first introduced in the Assembly in March of 1993; however, the Assembly majority holds the bill and prevents the measure from reaching the Assembly floor for a vote. Similar legislation passes almost unanimously every year in the Senate, including just last month in a Special Session. The bill was supported by then-Senator and current Lieutenant Governor David Paterson.

Kolb noted the issue is even more pressing now because the lack of action has given cause for many local governments to take the matter into their own hands.

“A growing number of municipalities now limit the movement and place residency restrictions on known sex offenders as a stop-gap measure. I applaud local governments for proactively protecting their communities, but this should be unnecessary if the state passes meaningful civil confinement legislation this session.”

Last year, the Assembly majority introduced its own civil confinement bill. Their measure, however, did not cover as many offenders including those under the age of 18, and covered fewer offenses. It also called for greater use of supervised parole instead of actual confinement in a secure facility even after the offender was deemed to have a mental abnormality and likely to re-offend.

“Partisan politics has no place in this discussion. With both parties in the Senate and the governor on-board, the time is now that the Assembly pass a law that will keep our communities safe,” Kolb concluded.