Massachusetts Legislature Passes Sex Offender Reforms For Level 2 Offenders

Multiple news outlets are reporting the news that both the Massachusetts House and Senate have agreed to language substantially changing sex offender laws in Massachusetts. The changes will impact all registered offenders. The reports provide:

Sen. Katherine Clark, D-Melrose, Chair of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary, recently announced that the Massachusetts legislature has enacted important measures to protect children and our communities from sex offenders. The reforms, sponsored by Senator Clark, were included in the Commonwealth’s fiscal year 2014 budget, passed today by both the Senate and the House of Representatives.

“Today the legislature took action to protect our children, and I am proud that these important public safety measures will, with the Governor’s signature, become law,” Clark said. “These critical reforms will strengthen our laws, allow for the reclassification of sex offenders, and provide more information to parents, caregivers and the agencies we depend on to keep our kids and communities safe.”

This set of reforms will allow the Sex Offender Registry Board (SORB) to reclassify offenders if new information becomes available and will establish tools for better communication with law enforcement so that such information is accessible and necessary adjustments on an offender’s level of dangerousness can be made.

“I am particularly pleased that SORB will have the opportunity to reclassify offenders in light of new information,” said Rep. Paul Brodeur, D-Melrose. “These reforms will go a long way towards making the system as effective as possible.”

The most dangerous sex offenders will be required to register within two days of being released from custody. The law currently requires Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders to annually register in person, but does not specify when they must first appear after being released from custody.

Also included are new information sharing procedures for the determination or reevaluation of a sex offender’s designation within the Sex Offender Registry Board and with other state agencies, as well as a commission to develop risk assessment protocols for sexual offenders.

“This legislation does several very important things to clarify and strengthen the sex offender registry laws resulting in better information being available to the public and the enhancement of child protection and public safety,” said Middlesex District Attorney Marian Ryan. “I am thankful to Senator Clark and the legislature for moving this important bill forward. As District Attorney, I am committed to doing all that I can to protect children, engage in prevention efforts, and punish those who abuse or exploit children. This bill will give us additional tools in that effort.”

The final budget, which includes these public safety provisions, now goes to Governor Deval Patrick for his consideration.

Level 2 offenders will also find their registration information placed on-line, as is presently done for Level 3 offenders. The Lowell Sun reports.

Expanding the dissemination of information of Massachusetts Level 2 sex offenders would be devastating for many registered offenders. It would vastly expand the number of Massachusetts sex offenders whose home, work, and educational information is splashed across the Internet and will reduce the utility of the site run by the Sex Offender Registry Board, which presently only lists the highest risk Massachusetts Level 3 sex offenders.

If you are a Level 2 sex offender in Massachusetts and have questions regarding your Massachusetts sex offender classification or wants assistance in reviewing or seeking sex offender reclassification, you need a Boston sex offender attorney. Please contact Attorney Crouch at (617) 441-5111 or email him to set up a free, initial consultation. To request further information please contact us.