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What is the Megan Jessica Law?

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Answered 2017-09-04 02:44:57

Megan's Law and Jessica's Law are two separate, but related, initiatives designed to protect children from known sex offenders. There is no "Megan Jessica Law."

Megan's Law is a federal statute applicable in all 50 states. President Clinton signed the measure on May 17, 1996, after a little girl, Megan Nicole Kanka, was sexually assaulted and murdered by a paroled sex offender living in her neighborhood.

Megan's Law seeks to reduce the potential for reoffense by requiring sex offenders released after the law was signed to register and provide law enforcement officials with a current photograph and address. This information becomes public record, and is posted on local and/or Department of Justice websites to notify communities of sex offenders living in their area.

Jessica's Law is a state law first passed in Florida in 2005 and later adopted by a number of other states. The statute restricts registered sex offenders from moving within 2000 feet of "any school or park where children regularly congregate." Some offenders are also required to wear a GPS device so their movements can be tracked.

Both laws are a source of controversy.

Some registered sex offenders and their advocates believe the criteria for registration is too broad, and claim a person can be forced to register for minor offenses, such as urinating in public or having consensual, public sex with another adult, because these are violations of city ordinances. Many believe their privacy is invaded to an extreme degree, and that their families are publicly humiliated and punished by association. It is not known to what extent these reports are exaggerated; however, the laws are being challenged in the courts.

Child safety advocates express concern that the laws aren't enforced well enough. Some communities have found registered sex offenders living inside the 2000-foot zone, and many others whose whereabouts are unknown because they're not tracked closely or frequently. This problem appears to stem from underfunding, leaving parole officers with staggering caseloads and the inability to monitor parolees well.
its a law about a little girl named Megan who was raped when she was a little girl.. its like the Amber Alerts!

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