Lopez Votes To Keep Sexual Predators Off Our Streets With Civil Confinement

Groundbreaking bill will keep New York families safe from sexual predators
March 6, 2007
Assemblyman Pete Lopez (R,C,I – Schoharie) announced that legislation has been passed today that will bring civil confinement to New York, a measure aimed at keeping your families safe from sexual predators.

“Sexual predators have no place on our streets. As a father and a husband I understand how important it is that we work to protect our families,” stated Lopez.

With the passage of this legislation, New York joins 16 other states that currently have civil confinement laws in creating greater levels of supervision and harsher penalties for sex offenders.

“This is simple common sense legislation, and I am pleased to be part of this bi-partisan effort,”

Today’s package includes the following:

  • Keeping dangerous sex offenders off the streets after their release from prison, and in secure facilities where they can receive intensive mental health treatment;
  • Including stiffer penalties for sex offenders and broadening the category of sexual offense to include crimes motivated by sexual violence. For example, a person who is caught breaking into a house to rape a woman would be charged with a sexually motivated offense even if the offender does not succeed in harming the woman;
  • Creating screening panels, composed of mental health officials, which determine whether a released prisoner is a candidate for civil confinement;
  • Giving judges the option of imposing intensive supervision as an alternative to confining offenders in a secure mental facility; and,
  • Establishing a state Office of Sex Offender Management to coordinate all areas related to sex offenders and victims including post-release supervision, treatment, monitoring, risk assessment, civil commitment, community awareness and victim assistance;

“This is a great victory for the people of New York,” stated Lopez. “I know that this will help us make our state a safer place to live.”