Attorney Allain Marain

Sex Offender Monitoring

N.J.S. 30:4-123.89 et seq. establishes New Jersey's “Sex Offender Monitoring Act.” The Act declares that

Continuous 24 hours per day, seven days per week, monitoring is a valuable and reasonable requirement for those offenders who are determined to be a high risk to reoffend, were previously committed as sexually violent predators and conditionally discharged, or received or are serving a special sentence of community or parole supervision for life. A program to monitor these sex offenders should be established.

Accordingly, N.J.S. 30:4-123.92 requires creation of a satellite-based monitoring system. The monitoring system, at a minimum, shall provide:

  1. Time-correlated or continuous tracking of the geographic location of the monitored subject using a global positioning system based on satellite and other location technology; and

  2. An automated monitoring system that can be used to permit law enforcement agencies to compare the geographic positions of monitored subjects with reported crime incidents and whether the subject was in the proximity of such reported crime incidents.

The monitoring system shall enable law enforcement... determine, investigate, and report on a 24 hours per day basis a monitored subject's noncompliance with the terms and conditions of the program. All reports of noncompliance shall be investigated immediately by a parole or law enforcement officer.

N.J.S. 30:4-123.94 makes failure to comply with monitoring requirements a third degree crime. N.J.S. 30:4-123.95, similarly, makes interference with a monitoring device a third degree crime.

N.J.S. 30:4-123.97 specifies that, in addition to any fine, fee, assessment or penalty authorized under Title 2C of New Jersey Statutes, a person convicted of or adjudicated delinquent for a sex offense is assessed a penalty of $30 per month. Recognizing, however, that Megan's Law makes it impossible for most convicted sex offenders to obtain meaningful employment, the Act magnamimously waives the penalty when their income does not exceed 149 percent of the federal poverty level.

For those that feel that New Jersey's Sex Offender Monitoring Act is “a valuable and reasonable requirement,” Criminal Lawyers in New Jersey say this: New Jersey's Sex Offender Monitoring Act now establishes a precedent. This precedent can (and likely will) be used to monitor terrorists; and then suspected terrorists; and then political dissidents; and then labor union leaders; and then labor union members; and then.... Where does it end? As quoted at the beginning of a prescient novel:

Les utopies apparaissent bien plus réalisables qu'on ne le croyait autrefois. Et nous nous trouvons actuellement devant une question bien autrement angoissante: comment éviter leur réalisation définitive? Les utopies sont réalisables. La vie marche vers les utopies. Et peut-être un siècle nouveau commence-t-il, un siècle où les intellectuels et la classe cultivée rêveront aux moyens d'éviter les utopies et de retourner à une société non utopique, moins “parfaite,” et plus libre.

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