Ben Barlyn, Executive Director of the New Jersey Sentencing Commission, sent me this recent article in the New York Times. The article focuses on some different proposals to deal with sex offenders being discussed in New Jersey:
Monitoring of sex offenders that would extend beyond Megan’s Law to include computer use is the focus of several bills that have been introduced in the State Legislature.
While the state now requires sex offenders to register with the local police under the terms of Megan’s Law, legislation sponsored by Assemblywoman Linda R. Greenstein would require them to notify the authorities of online identities used in chat or instant messaging conversations and to give the police their user passwords.
Another bill, sponsored by Ms. Greenstein, a Democrat from Monroe, and Senate President Richard J. Codey, a Democrat from West Orange, would severely limit sex offenders who used the Internet to commit their crimes from gaining access to the Internet in the future. A bill with provisions similar to Ms. Greenstein’s has been introduced by Assemblywoman Jennifer Beck, a Republican from Morganville.
“This is an attempt to try to strengthen Megan’s Law and to prevent the use of computers in stalking children, when they’re obviously being used in many cases for that purpose,” Ms. Greenstein said. “The home computer is obviously the place where solicitation takes place.”
Denying web access to sex offenders in this modern era is a radical move. It also shows how wholly new types of alternative punishments are being considered for sex offenders.