Sex offenders law

Legislation known as Megan’s Law — enacted after the rape and murder of 7-year-old Megan Kanka of New Jersey — requires police to notify neighborhoods when a released sex offender moves nearby. The federal Right to Privacy Act, however, allowed colleges and universities an exemption from these stipulations. But the recently drafted Campus Protection Act would now require them to alert students about convicted sex offenders enrolled in the college.
“The disclosure would be made to students and employees in a manner consistent with the reporting program of the state in which the school is located,” specified a report published by the nonprofit organization Security On Campus, Inc. Minnesota rates sex convicts by three categories of risk, depending on their criminal record. For low-risk offenders, information is given only to local law enforcement, victims and witnesses. The level of notification and community involvement increases for medium and high-risk offenders.
Without the Campus Protection Act, the University’s policy toward community notification is inconsistent with the state’s. A visible and effective police department ensures that the campus is not a safe haven for criminals. Until the Campus Protection Act is finalized, however, it is possible for a sex offender to live, work and study on campus without the community being notified of his or her status as a released sex convict. Adopting Minnesota’s guidelines would not mean ostracizing every offender who enrolls in college. Instead, by rating offenders by risk and acting accordingly, the University can guarantee students the same protection afforded any Minnesota resident.