Despite registration that is required annually nationwide, the whereabouts of more than 77,000 convicted sex offenders are unknown in 32 states, according to a survey conducted recently by Parents for Megan’s Law, a nonprofit advocacy group. Moreover, officials in the remaining 18 states and the District of Columbia were unable to calculate how many convicted sex offenders are unaccounted for, the Associated Press reports.
All 50 states in the US have a version of Megan’s Law – the 1996 law named after Megan Kanka, a 7 year-old New Jersey girl who was raped and killed by a known child molester who had moved in across the street – that requires the addresses of convicted sex offenders be verified once a year and made available to the public. However, as this study found, state law enforcement officials are not being given the tools to follow through on these mandates.
“They’re implementing Megan’s Law, then turning their backs on it,” Laura Ahearn, executive director of Parents for Megan’s Law, told AP. “They need the technology and the staff to track down their sex offenders.”
Parents for Megan’s Law launched the survey last month after an AP investigation found that California had lost track of 33,296 sex offenders, or 44 percent of the 76,350 who registered with the state at least once. The survey found that Oklahoma and Tennessee had the highest rates of noncompliance – with 50 percent of all known offenders unaccounted for, according to AP.
“It is alarming there are those who slipped through the cracks but the majority are still accounted for,” Maureen Kanka, Megan’s mother who has been a leading advocate on the issue, told AP. “Now we have to stand back and say, ‘How do we make this more effective for those who have slipped through the cracks?”
12/11/2013 Human Rights Day Celebrated Around The World - Yesterday marked International Human Rights Day, a day to celebrate human rights advances and to assess the challenges that lie ahead in protecting them.
"The fundamentals for protecting and promoting human rights are largely in place: these include a strong and growing body of international human rights law and standards, as well as institutions to interpret the laws, monitor compliance and apply them to new and emerging human rights issues," said United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay in a statement. . . .
12/11/2013 UConn Under Federal Investigation For Mishandling Sexual Assault Cases - The US Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) informed the University of Connecticut on Monday that it will investigate the school for allegedly mishandling sexual assault cases and violating Title IX, the federal law that requires all recipients of federal financial assistance for education programs and activities to prohibit sex discrimination and sexual harassment [PDF].
The investigation was sparked after seven women filed a formal complaint in October alleging that UConn had failed to protect them from sexual assault and exposed them to a sexually hostile environment.One woman says her attacker was expelled from campus but later readmitted without her knowledge. . . .
12/11/2013 Massachusetts Democrat Katherine Clark Wins Congressional Seat - Democrat Katherine Clark will become the fifth woman to represent Massachusetts in the US House Tuesday, after easily defeating three opponents in a special election.
"Six years ago, there wasn't a single woman representing Massachusetts in Congress," said Niki Tsongas, the only other woman representing Massachusetts in the House. . . .