PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- A state Representative has introduced a bill that would create a much more rigid sex offender registry in Rhode Island.
State Rep. Peter G. Palumbo (D - Cranston) has been actively pushing bills that increase transparency of convicted sex offenders, and he is working now to enact a comprehensive sex offender registration and notification act (SORNA).
SORNA would create an offense-based tier system, classifying offenders according to the risk they pose to their environments. It would also make sex offender information public via a notification website with search capabilities and a function that enables users to receive email alerts when sex offenders commence residence, employment or school attendance within the state.
"As long as there is one sex offender out there that we cannot account for, there is the potential for great harm, the potential for another victim," said Rep. Palumbo.
Currently, local law enforcement agencies are responsible for provide notification on the whereabouts and activities of registered sex offenders. SORNA would give that responsibility to one central agency: The R.I. State Police.
"By making one central agency... responsible for this process will free up local law enforcement resources and save communities money," said Rep. Palumbo.
Supporters of the bill include Attorney General Kilmartin, Rep. John DeSimone (D - Dist. 5, Providence), Rep. Raymond Johnston, Jr. (D - Dict. 61 - Pawtucket), Rep. John Carnevale (D - Dist. 13, Providence) and Rep. Donald Lally, Jr. (D - Dist. 33, Narragansett).
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