Action Will Prohibit Level 2 and 3 Sex Offenders From Being Within 1,000 Feet of Kindergarten and Pre-K Schools.
Long Island, NY - February 12, 2018 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a 30-day budget amendment will be advanced to protect children in New York State. The amendment will restrict sex offenders whose victims are under the age of 13 from traveling or living near schools where young children go to learn, and will ban offenders from living in temporary or emergency housing or shelters where families also reside.
"The safety and well-being of our children is New York's top priority, and by proposing stricter laws, we will keep our most vulnerable New Yorkers safe," Governor Cuomo said. "This action will forbid these predators from stepping within 1,000 feet of our schools and help secure neighborhoods across the state, while supporting a better, safer New York for all."
The Governor's action to advance this amendment will close a loophole in state law that currently allows sex offenders to live near kindergarten and pre-K schools in New York State.
The 30-day budget amendment will:
Prohibit level two and level three sex offenders, whose victims were under the age of 13, from being within 1,000 feet of a kindergarten or pre-K school;
Ban certain sex offenders from living in temporary emergency housing or shelters that house families; and
Require the Commissioner of the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision to obtain a list of schools from the State Department of Education, and distribute that list to probation and parole departments to ensure sex offenders stay away from those locations.
Since taking office, Governor Cuomo has bolstered protections for young New Yorkers and strengthened laws to deter sex offenders from victimizing children again. In 2013, the Governor expanded the state's Sex Offender Registry to include multiple photos of each offender, which are required to be updated every three years for Level 1 and Level 2 offenders, and every year for Level 3 offenders. In 2016, the Governor directed DOCCS to restrict sex offenders under community supervision from using Pokémon GO and other similar, location-based games.
Additionally, as Attorney General in 2008, Governor Cuomo introduced the Electronic Security and Targeting of Online Predators Act to protect New York's children from online predators. The groundbreaking legislation has led to numerous protections for internet users, and mandates that sex offenders register all current email accounts, screen names, and any other internet identifiers, and keep them up-to-date with State Division of Criminal Justice Services. This list is then given to social networking companies on a weekly basis and those sites use it to purge offenders from their membership rosters.