Although Pennsylvania and California are on opposite sides of the United States, they both have similar laws when it comes to convicted sex offenders. The PA Megan’s Law is very similar to the California Megan’s Law, however, there are differences.
Sex Offenders in Pennsylvania
Sex offenders in Pennsylvania are required by law to register as sex offenders with the state when they are released or paroled from their incarceration. The registration process consists of a state police officer, or a representative of, collects the personal information of the sex offender. In most cases, the offender will need to provide their birth name, any alias names, their current home address, their work address, the make and model of their vehicle, and a recent, clear picture of their face. The information that the police collect will be transferred into the sex offender registry database then will be available for the public to view.
Sex offenders in Pennsylvania are put into categories that are based on how much of a threat they are. There are three tiers that represent how dangerous the sex offender is. Tier one, tier two, and tier three. Tier one is the lowest level of threat, tier two is a moderate level of threat and tier three are extremely dangerous, violent sexual predators that need to be watched very closely.
The Main Difference Between PA and CA Megan’s Law
As we discussed above there are different levels of sex offender tiers in Pennsylvania. California, on the other hand, does not categorize its sex offenders into different tiers. Both states recognize the federal Megan’s Law, but the details of how each state in the country operates differ from state to state. However, the message of all the states is the same; people have the right to know if they live near convicted sex offenders that could potentially threaten them and their families.
Why Megan’s Law is In Place
Megan’s Law is in place in order to keep communities safe from sexual predators by providing information that allows the general public to see where convicted sex offenders live, and what they look like. In 1996 a young child by the name of Megan Kanka was raped and murdered by a convicted child molester that lived across the street from her. The community of that neighborhood was unaware that a convicted sex offender was in their midst. Nobody had any idea that they were in danger. Not long after the crime, Megan’s Law came into effect as a means to inform people in the communities about sex offenders that live near them, or near the schools that their children go to. In many cases, simply being aware of a threat is enough to prevent a horrible crime from happening in the first place. Megan’s Law is in place to keep people informed, and to save lives.
***Registered Offenders List is a free online resource that strives to offer helpful content and resources to its visitors regarding registered sex offenders that live near you.