State's sex offender laws examined
Leada Gore, Hartselle Enquirer
There are 41 registered sex offenders in Morgan County, with crimes ranging from rape and production of pornography to kidnapping and sexually abusing children as young as six years old.
One of them could be living next to you.
Currently, Alabama law requires convicted sex offenders to register their home address with the state within 30 days of release from prison and prohibits them from living or working with 2,000 feet of a school or day care center or within 1,000 feet of their victims.
In the light of high-profile abduction cases in Florida, a push is on to tighten those laws.
Attorney General Troy King introduced a bill early in the Legislative session to strengthen Alabama's sex offender's laws.
King's measure passed the House of Representatives, but, tied up in squabbles over the General Fund and Education budgets, had not passed the Senate at press time. Thursday is the last day of the Legislative session.
King has vowed to continue his fight to strengthen those laws in the next legislative session.
"The families of Alabama and our children are counting on us to act," King said.
The new law would require sex offenders to notify the state of their address within seven days of release. They would also be required to notify the state of their place of employment.
Provisions of the bill would also prevent certain sex offenders from loitering near schools, day cares, recreation centers or other places where children gather. It also requires registered sex offenders to provide the names and addresses of immediate family and the names of those living in his household.
Failure to comply with the current sex offender notification act is a Class A misdemeanor. King would like to see that upgrades to a Class C felony, punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $5,000.
Alabama law currently requires the Sheriff's Office in the county where the sex offender lives to notify in writing all people living within a 2,000 foot radius of where a sex offender registers as his address.
Tracking sex offenders