What is the Megan Jessica Law?
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
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!