Prohibits the employment of a sex offender in any position having substantial contact with children; defines "substantial contact" as any activity involving children; establishes criminal penalties for violation of statutory provisions.
Ayes (13): Nozzolio, DeFrancisco, Gallivan, Griffo, Little, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Rivera, Hassell-Thompson, Montgomery, Kennedy, Peralta
Ayes W/R (1): Kruger
Ayes (11): Nozzolio, DeFrancisco, Gallivan, Griffo, Little, Maziarz, Ranzenhofer, Ritchie, Kennedy, Peralta, Espaillat
Nays (3): Rivera, Hassell-Thompson, Montgomery
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the correction law, in relation to prohibiting sex offenders from any position involving substantial contact with children
PURPOSE: To provide that sex offenders shall not be employed in any job involving substantial contact with children.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: Section 168-w of the correction law, as relettered by chapter 604 of the laws of 2005, is relettered section 168-x and a new section 168-w is added which stipulates that sex offenders not be employed in a job involving substantial contact with children.
Section 1 indicates that no sex offender shall apply for or accept employment in a position which involves substantial contact with children. Such employment shall include any job, task or occupation which by its nature, requires the employee to be in contact with children in the regular performance of his or her duties in such position. This section also applies to any person seeking a permit or permission to execute any activity or performance that would present a direct contact with children.
Section 2 stipulates the definition of "position" shall apply to any person seeking employment either paid or not paid, any person seeking to volunteer, or any person seeking a permit or permission that would present substantial contact with children.
Section 3 lists examples of such employment which include, but are not limited to: (a) Any position in a school including teachers, teacher-aides, administrators, assistants, cafeteria workers, janitors, nurses or any other person working in a school that would have contact with the children attending said school; (b) Any position in a childcare facility; (c) Any recreational position such as a coach, boy scout or girl scout leader, camp counselor, lifeguard, instructor or any other recreational area that would present a substantial contact with children; (d) Any position in a park, playground, amusement park, pool or any other facility or area where children have a propensity to inhabit; (e) Any store or restaurant that is specifically targeted towards children such as a toy store or children's theme restaurant; (f) Any position whereas a person would be employed in an area that specifically is targeted towards children such as an ice-cream truck operator; (g) Any person applying for a permit or permission that would grant said person the ability to carry out any activity or action that is directed toward or would involve substantial contact with children.
Section 4 stipulates that employers, organizations or government entities shall have access to the Statewide Central Registry of Child Abuse and Maltreatment for the purpose of performing a background check for any convictions of sexual abuse of a child. Such employers, organizations or government entities shall also check the registered sex offenders database to see if the applicant is a registered sex offender.
Section 5 defines "substantial contact with children" as working with children, having access to children, performing for children, having opportunity to be alone with children, or any other activity that involves children.
Section 6 (a) any sex offender who applies for or accepts employment in violation of this section shall be a guilty of a class A misdemeanor upon conviction of the first offense, and upon conviction for a second or subsequent offense shall be guilty of a class D felony. (b) Any employer who knowingly employs a sex offender in violation of this section shall, upon conviction, be guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
JUSTIFICATION: The recidivism rate for sex offenders is seven times that of any other crime. Pedophiles have an established propensity to prey on children, which is what dictated the need for Megan's Law, the database of registered sex offenders. While Megan's Law tracks sex offenders and maintains a neighborhood notification program to warn unsuspecting residents, there are apparent loopholes in the legal intentions of the law that must be addressed.
Common sense dictates that a convicted sex offender should not be permitted to work with or around children, due to the very real threat of a repeat offense. However, New York's laws currently do not prohibit sex offenders from working with children, which leaves open the possibility that they can and will.
A recent case in Westchester County highlighted the immediate need for legislation that will prohibit sex offenders from being employed in any position that has substantial contact with children. A U.S. District Court ruled in favor of allowing a twice-convicted sex offender from performing as a clown in Westchester's Playland Park.
There is almost a guarantee that, given the opportunity, a pedophile will strike again. Knowing this information, there is an obligation to put forth laws that will keep children out of harm's way by helping to shield them from sexual predators.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: S.204/A.9767 of 2005/2006; Passed Senate S.3247/A.4179-A of 2003/2004; Advanced to Third Reading in 2004. S.44 of 2007-2008; Passed Senate S.1049/A.1716 of 2009-2010; Referred to Crime Victims, Crime and Correction
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This Act shall take effect on the first of November next succeeding the date on which it shall have become a law.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 260 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 5, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sens. MAZIARZ, ALESI, BONACIC, FLANAGAN, GOLDEN, JOHNSON, SALAND, SEWARD -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Crime Victims, Crime and Correction AN ACT to amend the correction law, in relation to prohibiting sex offenders from any position involving substantial contact with chil- dren THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Section 168-w of the correction law, as relettered by chap- ter 604 of the laws of 2005, is relettered section 168-x and a new section 168-w is added to read as follows: S 168-W. SEX OFFENDERS SHALL NOT BE EMPLOYED IN A POSITION INVOLVING SUBSTANTIAL CONTACT WITH CHILDREN. 1. NO SEX OFFENDER SHALL APPLY FOR OR ACCEPT A POSITION WHICH INVOLVES SUBSTANTIAL CONTACT WITH CHILDREN. SUCH POSITION SHALL INCLUDE ANY JOB, TASK OR OCCUPATION, WHICH BY ITS NATURE, REQUIRES A PERSON TO BE IN SUBSTANTIAL CONTACT WITH CHILDREN IN THE REGULAR PERFORMANCE OF HIS OR HER DUTIES OR DEALINGS IN SUCH POSITION. THIS SECTION SHALL ALSO APPLY TO ANY PERSON SEEKING A PERMIT OR PERMIS- SION TO EXECUTE ANY ACTIVITY OR PERFORMANCE THAT WOULD PRESENT A DIRECT CONTACT WITH CHILDREN. 2. THE DEFINITION OF "POSITION" AS USED IN THIS SECTION SHALL APPLY TO ANY PERSON SEEKING EMPLOYMENT EITHER PAID OR NOT PAID, ANY PERSON SEEK- ING TO VOLUNTEER, OR ANY PERSON SEEKING A PERMIT OR PERMISSION THAT WOULD PRESENT A SUBSTANTIAL CONTACT WITH CHILDREN. 3. EXAMPLES OF SUCH EMPLOYMENT INCLUDE, BUT ARE NOT LIMITED TO: A. ANY POSITION IN A SCHOOL INCLUDING TEACHERS, TEACHER-AIDES, ADMIN- ISTRATORS, ASSISTANTS, CAFETERIA WORKERS, JANITORS, NURSES OR ANY OTHER PERSON WORKING IN A SCHOOL THAT WOULD HAVE CONTACT WITH THE CHILDREN ATTENDING SAID SCHOOL; B. ANY POSITION IN A CHILD-CARE FACILITY;EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01374-01-1 S. 260 2
C. ANY RECREATIONAL POSITION SUCH AS A COACH, BOY SCOUT OR GIRL SCOUT LEADER, CAMP COUNSELOR, LIFEGUARD, INSTRUCTOR OR ANY OTHER RECREATIONAL AREA THAT WOULD PRESENT A SUBSTANTIAL CONTACT WITH CHILDREN; D. ANY POSITION IN A PARK, PLAYGROUND, AMUSEMENT PARK, POOL OR ANY OTHER FACILITY OR AREA WHERE CHILDREN HAVE A PROPENSITY TO INHABIT; E. ANY STORE OR RESTAURANT THAT IS SPECIFICALLY TARGETED TOWARDS CHIL- DREN SUCH AS A TOY STORE OR CHILDREN'S THEME RESTAURANT; F. ANY POSITION WHEREIN A PERSON WOULD BE EMPLOYED IN AN AREA THAT SPECIFICALLY IS TARGETED TOWARDS CHILDREN SUCH AS AN ICE CREAM TRUCK OPERATOR; G. ANY PERSON APPLYING FOR A PERMIT OR PERMISSION THAT WOULD GRANT SAID PERSON THE ABILITY TO CARRY OUT ANY ACTIVITY OR ACTION THAT IS DIRECTED TOWARDS OR WOULD INVOLVE SUBSTANTIAL CONTACT WITH CHILDREN. 4. EMPLOYERS, ORGANIZATIONS AND GOVERNMENT ENTITIES SHALL HAVE ACCESS TO THE STATEWIDE CENTRAL REGISTRY OF CHILD ABUSE AND MALTREATMENT FOR THE PURPOSE OF PERFORMING A BACKGROUND CHECK FOR ANY CONVICTIONS OF SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD. EVERY EMPLOYER, ORGANIZATION AND GOVERNMENT ENTITY SHALL CHECK ANY POTENTIAL EMPLOYEES SEEKING TO ASSUME A POSITION THAT WILL BE IN SUBSTANTIAL CONTACT WITH CHILDREN AGAINST BOTH THE STATEWIDE CENTRAL REGISTRY OF CHILD ABUSE AND MALTREATMENT AND THE REGISTERED SEX OFFENDERS DATABASE TO ASCERTAIN IF SAID PERSON HAS A CONVICTION FOR SEXUAL ABUSE OF A CHILD. 5. "SUBSTANTIAL CONTACT WITH CHILDREN" AS USED IN THIS SECTION MEANS WORKING WITH CHILDREN, HAVING ACCESS TO CHILDREN, HAVING OPPORTUNITY TO BE ALONE WITH CHILDREN, SPENDING TIME WITH CHILDREN, PERFORMING FOR CHILDREN OR ANY OTHER ACTIVITY THAT INVOLVES CHILDREN. 6. A. ANY SEX OFFENDER WHO APPLIES FOR OR ACCEPTS EMPLOYMENT IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR UPON THE FIRST CONVICTION THEREOF, AND UPON A SECOND OR SUBSEQUENT CONVICTION THEREOF SHALL BE GUILTY OF A CLASS D FELONY. B. ANY EMPLOYER WHO KNOWINGLY EMPLOYS A SEX OFFENDER IN VIOLATION OF THIS SECTION SHALL, UPON CONVICTION, BE GUILTY OF A CLASS A MISDEMEANOR. S 2. This act shall take effect on the first of November next succeed- ing the date on which it shall have become a law.