Saladino Victorious In Megan’s Law Accord, Turns To Fighting For Civil Confinement

January 20, 2006
Assemblyman Joseph Saladino (R,C,I-Massapequa) claimed victory in Wednesday’s passage of a new and tougher Megan’s Law to further protect New York’s families and is turning his attention to the fight to pass civil confinement legislation.

“We have now taken a great step to strengthen Megan’s Law,” said Saladino. “I have been pushing to extend and impose stricter parameters to the law’s Sex Offender Registry requirement for some time now, along with other measures such as civil confinement, in the state Legislature. The new Megan’s Law is not only a victory for my colleagues and me, but most importantly a victory for families across New York state. We must now come together and pass a civil confinement bill to handle predators after their release from prison.”

A civil confinement bill would manage sex offenders after their release from prison by determining if each one is a “sexually violent predator” through a review process by a group of experts. When a decision is made, the individual would be committed to a locked-down, mental-health facility to undergo annual psychiatric evaluations until the offender is no longer classified as a violent predator. At that point, the individual could petition the court to be discharged from the facility.

Under yesterday’s agreement, Level 3 sex offenders (the most dangerous of convicted sexual predators) continue to register with the registry for life, while Level 2 offenders will have to register for a minimum of 30 years, rather than the former 10 years. Level 2 offenders may petition judges for removal from the list after 30 years. Level 1 offenders will have to register for 20 years, twice the time required under the old statute.

Assemblyman Saladino has been in the forefront of pushing for new laws and strengthening existing legislation which protects children from sexual predators. He is leading a group of Assembly members who have partnered with our Long Island senators to create this legislation. Saladino has brought immediacy to the new Megan’s Law bill because of the fact that the original Megan’s Law was about to sunset this month. The new law which passed in the Assembly has no end date.

At a press interview today with the Massapequa Observer and Farmingdale Observer, Assemblyman Saladino discussed his fight to protect children, “The Megan’s Law extensions are extremely important to furthering my main goal of protecting the children of New York state, but we still have a long way to go to solidify our children’s safety in communities across the state. My number one goal has always been to strengthen Megan’s Law and, now that we have made preliminary steps in doing so, I will continue to fight to bring civil confinement legislation to the floor of the Assembly, and I will not stop until it happens. I also thank every one of my colleagues in the Assembly and our Long Island Senators, especially Senators Kemp Hannon, Chuck Fuschillo, and Deputy Majority Leader Senator Dean Skelos-the creator and sponsor of Megan’s Law, for having the fortitude to pass this Megan’s Law legislation to protect children and look forward to passing a civil confinement bill.”