McMorris Hails Legislation to Keep Children Safe from Predators
(Washington, D.C.) Congresswoman Cathy McMorris (WA-05) today praised the passage of H.R. 4472, the Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006. McMorris is a cosponsor of this legislation that will help keep children safe from sexual predators by improving sex offender registration and enforcing stricter penalties. The bill will now be sent to the President to be signed into law.
“One of my top priorities is to keep our communities safe,” said McMorris. “Our community has experienced firsthand the tragedy of having our children fall prey to sexual predators and we must take action to prevent this from happening again. There currently is not an easily accessible comprehensive nationwide database of sexual offenders available to ensure the safety of families in Eastern Washington – sex offenders do not stop at state lines, and neither should our sex offender registries.”
Nearly 100,000 sex offenders remain unregistered, and are moving freely about the country. Most recent high-profile abductions crimes were all committed by previously-convicted sex offenders. According to the US Department of Justice, sex offenders are four times more likely to be rearrested and child molesters on average only serve 43 percent of their sentence.
Highlights of the Child Protection and Safety Act include:
Improving the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Program to ensure that sex offenders register – and keep current where they reside, work, and attend school;
Creating the Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Website to search for sex offender information in each community;
Requiring states to notify each other when sex offenders move from one state to another;
Increasing penalties for using the Internet for the sexual exploitation of children; and
Increasing law enforcement’s ability to combat child pornography.