Attorney General Lockyer Issues Statement on Assembly Action to Extend Megan's Law

Sunday, September 28, 2003
Contact: (415) 703-5837, agpressoffice@doj.ca.gov

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer today released this statement regarding the California Assembly's approval of AB 1313 by Assemblywoman Nicole Parra, D-Hanford:

"I am pleased that the California Assembly returned to Sacramento to unanimously extend Megan's Law and authorize university and college police to notify the public about sex offenders living, working and going to classes on campus.

"Since 1996, tens of thousands of Californians have used Megan's Law to better protect their families and children from sexual predators living in their neighborhoods. They must continue to have access to this vital information.

"I have made significant improvements to ensure the accuracy of the information on Megan's Law and to assist police and sheriffs in identifying those sexual predators who are violating the law by not registering with local law enforcement agencies.

"Less than 90,000 law enforcement officers are responsible for the safety of 35 million California residents. It is important to remember that Megan's law not only helps citizens obtain information about sex offenders living in their neighborhoods; it also enables citizens to help law enforcement by providing information on the whereabouts of sex offenders who have failed to register with local police and sheriffs.

During the California State Fair this summer, more than 7,500 fairgoers used the Megan's Law viewing booth staffed by volunteers from the Department of Justice. Their attention to Megan's Law resulted in close to 50 "hits," which occur when a viewer recognizes a sex registrant who poses a risk to the public, such as a sex offender coaching a children's soccer team, a rapist working as an apartment maintenance worker with unrestricted access to tenants' apartments, a neighbor who has failed to register with local police – even several carnival workers at the State Fair interacting with kids on the Midway.

"I have long supported expanding the information on Megan's Law, and have sponsored and supported legislation to put it on the Internet. The Internet will make this important family protection tool easier to use and more convenient for Californians."

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