More than one-third of the sex offenders in New York state prisons are due to be released by the end of next year, reports the New York Post. State Sen. Jeffrey Klein said that 1,000 of the state’s 5,000 locked-up sex offenders are due to hit the streets again by the end of this year. The state Department of Criminal Justice Services said an additional 800 are expected out by the end of 2007. Klein favors a bill that would allow the state to confine predators still deemed dangerous after their prison terms expire. He and Senate Democratic Minority Leader David Paterson will push the issue outside Bellevue Hospital in New York City today with the family of a woman murdered at a mall by a homeless man who was convicted sex offender.
Gov. George Pataki last year had his administration use state law pertaining to involuntary commitments of the mentally ill to keep some sex offenders locked up past their release dates. The action is being challenged in court, and supporters say a law would be more effective. Pataki’s criminal-justice director, Chauncey Parker, said that, “For the worst of the worst sex offenders, it’s important to have a law in place that can protect people.”