State Representative Themis Klarides (R-114) and State Senator Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-17) are continuing their efforts to restrict where sex offenders can reside by announcing they will introduce legislation to keep them away from schools and daycare centers.
The policy, which Rep. Klarides originally proposed in 2007, would establish “Child Safety Zones” – a 1,000 foot radius around schools, daycares and other locations where children typically gather – and prohibit any registered sex offender from residing there.
The proposal would also carry more severe penalties and increased fines for crimes committed within the zones.
Rep. Klarides has proposed similar legislation in the past, but was met with resistance from majority party legislators who instead voted to dilute the policy.
“The last thing a parent should have to worry about when they send their child to school is whether a depraved sex offender is lurking around the corner from the jungle gym or classroom,” said Rep. Klarides, Deputy House Republican Leader. “Keeping sex offenders away from kids is a common sense policy that many people assume is already in place, but has been met with inexcusable opposition from other legislative leaders in the past several years. I call on my colleagues to do the right thing for our communities and support this legislation when the 2014 Session convenes.”
“State statutes require known sex offenders and predators to register their whereabouts for very good reason – to safeguard residents and protect them from any recurrence of previous behavior that prompted registration in the first place,” Senator Joseph J. Crisco, Jr. (D-Woodbridge) said. “This initiative is a straightforward extension of these safeguards and protections and if enacted, will help separate those on the registry from schools and daycare centers where children congregate.”
The lawmakers plan to push for the legislation during the upcoming 2014 Legislative Session, which convenes February 5, 2014.