Megan's Law requires schools and neighbors be notified when a sex offender moves into the area. Parole officers can track recent parolees by ankle monitors to ensure they only go to appropriate places. Supervision, monitoring, and therapy can help re-integrate some child molesters into society.
Some people criticized the law for ostracizing sex offenders after they served their time and putting an extra burden on law enforcement. The law was named in honor of seven-year-old Megan Kanka, who was raped and murdered in New Jersey by a recently released rapist.
The prison system in Wyoming focuses on treatment, knowing Megan's Law does little in terms of protection. Inmates receive treatment for psychological factors that led to their crimes. Few sex offenders receive life sentences.
Sex offenders imprisoned at the farm undergo lie detector tests at different stages of treatment. Confronting and working through their crimes helps reduce the rate of recidivism. One inmate prepares for release to a parole house.
Many sex offenders lose their jobs and homes when they are "found out" by Megan's Law. The first year out of the prison is when most parolees are likely to re-offend. Parole officer Bill Lassiter understands the situation is not as simple as Megan's Law suggests.
Credits: Indecent Liberties
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In 1994 convicted child rapist Jesse Timmendaquas moved into a New Jersey suburb with two other ex-cons after serving his sentence. Soon after, he raped and murdered seven-year-old Megan Kanka who lived across the street. The crime shocked America and Megan's mother began an immediate campaign claiming her daughter's killer was a time bomb left ticking in their midst. Megan's Law, signed by President Bill Clinton in May 1996, requires authorities to notify schools and neighbors when released sex offenders move in to their area. While Jesse Timmendaquas is in prison awaiting trial, Megan's Law is currently being fought in the courts on a constitutional basis.
Length: 31 minutes
Copyright date: ©2000
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