Assemblyman Kolb Calls for Immediate Action on Civil Confinement

After Megan’s Law Victory, Kolb Focuses on Civil Confinement of Dangerous Sex Offenders
January 20, 2006

Assemblyman Brian M. Kolb (R,C-Canandaigua) today called for passage of legislation requiring the civil confinement of sexually violent predators after they have completed their prison sentences.

“I believe it is my solemn duty as a parent and as a state legislator to do everything in my power to ensure our children are protected,” said Kolb. “Yesterday’s passage of legislation that strengthens Megan’s Law shows that both parties can come together to do the right thing. Civil confinement would help us do just that by keeping the worst-of-the-worst sex offenders in secure facilities where they can do no harm.”

Kolb noted that, since June 2005, 161 Level 3 sex offenders – classified by the state as the most dangerous predators – have been released onto New York streets. “Unfortunately, the Assembly majority has been unwilling to even bring civil confinement to the floor for open debate and a vote,” Kolb said. “We cannot wait for yet another Level 3 sex offender to commit another heinous crime before taking action.”

Civil confinement, heralded by Assembly minority members for over a decade, would allow judges to order the most dangerous of convicted sex offenders confined to secure mental-health facilities, staffed by medical professionals, beyond their prison release dates if, upon evaluation, there is significant reason to believe they will strike again. A similar bill has repeatedly passed the state Senate with bipartisan support, and Governor George Pataki has said he would sign the legislation as soon as it reaches his desk.

Sixteen states and the District of Columbia have similar laws on the books that were challenged and upheld as constitutional by the U.S. Supreme Court.