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Governor Signs McNamara, McCaffrey Law Moving High-Risk Sex Offenders Further From Schools

The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.
The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.
The Rhode Island State House is located at 82 Smith St. Providence.

STATE HOUSE — Gov. Gina Raimondo has signed legislation sponsored by Warwick legislators in the House and Senate that moves high-risk sex offenders another 700 feet further away from schools.

House bill (2015-H 6025A), sponsored by House Health, Education and Welfare Committee Chairman Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston), and the Senate version (2015-S 754A) sponsored by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Michael J. McCaffrey (D-Dist. 29, Warwick) prohibits any Level 3 sex offender from residing within 1,000 feet from a school, according to a release this afternoon from the Legislative Press and Public Information Bureau.

“There’s no good reason for Level 3 sex offenders to be living only 100 yards away from a school,” said McNamara. “Think of how long a football field is. If the intent of the law is to keep them away from the areas where children congregate, then 100 yards is just too close.”

Any Level 3 offender who is required to register his or her address and resides within the 1,000-foot radius would be guilty of a felony, punishable by a $5,000 fine or five years imprisonment, according to the release.

Senator McCaffrey added, “By pushing the distance back to 1,000 feet, then not only are we ensuring that Level 3 sex offenders are not living next to the school, we’re now ensuring that they are not living anywhere in the vicinity of the school.

In Rhode Island sex offenders are classified based on their risk to re-offend. A Level 3 offender is characterized as a high-risk offender.

Rob Borkowski
Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of Contact him at [email protected] with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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