Newsday editorializes that three new sex-offense courts in New York State are the “right initiative at the right time.” The first courts of their kind in the nation will give a single judge responsibility for all the felony sex crime cases in a jurisdiction. It will make that judge responsible for enhanced monitoring of sexual predators not behind bars. The idea is to drive down the number of new crimes committed by known offenders.
The cost will be negligible: The sex offense court in Nassau, Long Island, is expected to handle 160 cases a year, but they are cases that would have landed in the courts anyway. Intensive parole and probation supervision to be provided, along with stronger services for victims, by $250,000 in federal grants to each jurisdiction. One result of this focused approach, says Newsday, should be that fewer people slip through the cracks of the system that requires them to register as sex offenders and abide by other stringent conditions. With the public demanding tougher, smarter handling of sexual predators, this is the right initiative at the right time.