Megan’s Law

Calls from concerned township residents asking if there are any sex offender’s residing in their area cannot be answered.  Due to the current status of the Megan’s Law issue, information is not allowed to be released.  The following information is provided to inform township residents of the facts of Megan’s Law.

A Message From the Attorney General:

Prompted by the tragic murders of Megan Kanka and Amanda Wengert, citizens of this state demanded a law that would let them know when a convicted sex offender is living in their neighborhood. Governor Christine Todd Whitman and the State Legislature responded by approving a series of laws collectively known as “Megan’s Law”.

Megan’s Law created a registration and notification procedure to alert law enforcement, schools, community organizations and neighbors to the presence of a sex offender who authorities believe may pose a risk to the community.  This information is designed to enhance public safety and awareness.  However, no law can guarantee the protection of our children.  There is no substitute for common sense safety precautions, such as teaching our children whom to trust and knowing where they are at all times.

We are all partners in making this law work.  We have an obligation to act responsibly with the information we receive.  No one has the right to take the law into his or her own hands by threatening or harming a sex offender.

Vigilante acts will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Megan’s Law:

Megan’s Law went into effect on October 31, 1994.  All convicted sex offenders released from custody since that date are required to register.  These persons must re-register every year. In addition, those who were on parole or probation at the time the law went into effect, also must register.  Convicted sex offenders found to be compulsive and repetitive are also required to registered, regardless of the date of conviction.  Some registrants must register every 90 days.

Megan’s Law requires convicted sex offenders to register with the local police in the jurisdictions they will or do reside.  These convicted sex offenders are evaluated and place in one of three tiers, based on the level of risk they may pose.  Each tier level results in a different level of notification.

Notification can proceed only after the court has a hearing and issues the order allowing notification.  At this hearing, the registrant has the right to be heard.  After the hearing, the Judge may authorize notification, and can limit this notification to specific organizations or individuals. 

For more information on Megan’s Law, contact Mantua Township Detective Guidotti (offnick@mantuatownship.com, ext. 1527) at 856.468.1920 or the Gloucester County Prosecutors Office 856.384.5500, and ask to speak with someone in the Megan’s Law Unit.