July 28, 2005

CRAPO CALLS FOR NATIONAL SEX OFFENDER REGISTRY

National database would coordinate monitoring efforts

Washington, DC â?? Legislation intended to strengthen federal law regarding registered sex offenders, S.792, passed out of the Senate Judiciary Committee today and may see a floor vote as early as tonight, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. "This measure, which is known as Dru's Law, sends a strong message of zero tolerance to convicted sex offenders,â?? said Crapo. â??With the recent tragic events in north Idaho, it is abundantly clear that these crimes have become a national crisis that require a national, coordinated solution. "This bipartisan bill sends a strong message to those intending to harm our children that those crimes will NOT be tolerated and perpetrators will be held accountable for their criminal actions.â??Idaho recently became part of a national sex offender registry operated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is one of 22 states that participate in this national voluntary program to protect children from violent sexual predators who move across state lines. Currently, there is no requirement for states to participate in a national registry. Named after Dru Sjodin, the University of North Dakota student who was killed in 2003 by a violent sexual predator who had recently been released from prison, Druâ??s Law is part of a larger package of bills the Senate is currently working on to address registering and monitoring sex offenders nationwide. Earlier this summer, Crapo co-sponsored S. 1086, the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act which addresses monitoring, public notification and registration of sex offenders. Druâ??s Law requires - the Justice Department to create a national sex offender database 2008 accessible to the public through the Internet â?? with data drawn from the FBIâ??s existing National Sex Offender Registry. This public website would allow users to specify a search radius across state lines, providing much more complete information on nearby sex offenders.-state prisons to notify states attorneys whenever â??high riskâ?? offenders are about to be released, so that states attorneys can consider petitioning the courts for continued confinement of the offender. The â??civil commitmentâ?? option is available under the law in many states, if an individual is deemed a continuing threat to the public safety. -states to monitor â??high-riskâ?? offenders who are released after serving their full sentence and are otherwise not subject to probation or other supervision for a period of no less than one year.To directly link to this news release, please use the following address: # # #