Sex offender bill advances

Bill would require notification of release

HARTFORD — The legislature’s Judiciary Committee unanimously approved this month a bill that would require the state to notify town officials upon the release of a registered sexual offender into their municipality.

“I’m happy that my colleagues agree so strongly that this is a supremely important bill,” said state Sen. Joseph Crisco (D-17) in a press release. “Families deserve to know if they are living in a neighborhood that is anything less than secure. This bill will enable municipal leaders and parents to make informed decisions to protect their children and families.”

Crisco and state Rep. Themis Klarides (R-114) championed the legislation, Senate Bill 432. The bill, which was sent to the Senate, will require the state’s Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection to provide notice to the chief executive officer of a municipality upon the release of a registered sexual offender into such municipality. The bill would give municipal officials discretion to inform residents of the neighborhood.

Crisco and Klarides advocated for the bill in response to a recent situation in Woodbridge where a child’s bus stop was located directly in front of a group home that housed two sex offenders. According to the release, one was convicted of four felony sex offense crimes, two of which involved young girls aged 5 and 7. The other offender was convicted of two felony crimes involving sexual assault of a child.

The bus stop was eventually moved. However, it was several years before the parents learned about the sex offenders and took action, the release stated.