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Public Statements

Children's Safety and Violent Crime Reduction Act of 2006

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC


CHILDREN'S SAFETY AND VIOLENT CRIME REDUCTION ACT OF 2006 -- (Senate - July 20, 2006)

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Mr. DeWINE. Mr. President, I am proud to be a cosponsor of the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act of 2006, which provides law enforcement officers with several important tools to protect our children. In the past three decades, we have all seen and heard about the many tragic cases of children being assaulted and killed by sex offenders. These are absolutely horrifying events, and as legislators, we have an obligation to do all we can to prevent such crimes in the future. We need to improve and enhance sex offender registration and tracking laws and increase penalties for those who violate them, which this act will accomplish.

There are several prongs to this act, which is what will make it successful. The core of this bill establishes a national sex offender registry. Although each State has a registry, there are no uniform standards. There is no easy way to access information from different jurisdictions. This act creates a uniform Federal standard which divides offenders into tiers, depending upon the offense for which they were convicted. It establishes registration guidelines for each tier, including how long a person would need to be registered and how often he or she must come in for a personal verification of the registration information. The act also creates community notification requirements and will make it a felony for sex offenders to fail to register and update their information on a regular basis. The Dru Sjodin National Sex Offender Public Web site will allow the public to search for information on sex offenders by ZIP Code and geographic radius.

All of these changes will help make our tracking laws more effective and will allow parents and members of the local community to be vigilant about the potential dangers of sex offenders in their neighborhoods.

But before we can put a predator can appear on the registry, he needs to be caught and prosecuted. The Adam Walsh Act includes urgently needed resources to assist law enforcement in these endeavors. This act establishes 10 new task forces dealing with Internet crimes against children, 45 new computer forensic examiners to deal exclusively with child sexual exploitation, and 200 new Federal prosecutors--all designated to combat child sexual exploitation.

This act also tries to protect children from being victimized in the first place. It provides grant money for educating parents and children about those who use the Internet to prey upon children. It funds Big Brothers and Big Sisters and includes my bill for the reauthorization of the Police Athletic Leagues. These two programs provide kids with supervision and role models and mentors who can help protect them from predators. In addition, it mandates that potential foster and adoptive parents go through a thorough criminal background check before a child can be placed with them.

Also incorporated in this bill are aspects of the Internet Safety Act which I proudly cosponsored. These include establishing new criminal penalties to keep up with the constantly increasing level of depravity among pedophiles--for example, the child exploitation enterprises provision to prosecute the ``molestation on demand'' child pornographic industry that has sprung up in recent years. Sexual predators of children are among the worst kind of offenders, and it is only right that there are sentencing enhancements for registered sex offenders who reoffend.

This is a good piece of legislation. I am pleased so many of my colleagues support it, and I look forward to its pending passage.

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