2C:7-12 Findings, Declarations Relative to Sex Offender Central Registry on the Internet
1.The Legislature finds and declares that the public safety will be enhanced by making information about certain sex offenders contained in the sex offender central registry established pursuant to section 4 of P.L.1994, c.133 (C.2C:7-4) available to the public through the Internet. Knowledge of whether a person is a convicted sex offender at risk of re-offense could be a significant factor in protecting oneself and one’s family members, or those in care of a group or community organization, from recidivist acts by the offender. The technology afforded by the Internet would make this information readily accessible to parents and private entities, enabling them to undertake appropriate remedial precautions to prevent or avoid placing potential victims at risk. Public access to registry information is intended solely for the protection of the public, and is not intended to impose additional criminal punishment upon any convicted sex offender.
The Legislature further finds and declares that, in some instances, countervailing interests support a legislative determination to exclude from the Internet registry the registration information of certain sex offenders. For example, the interest in facilitating rehabilitation of juveniles who have been adjudicated delinquent for the commission of one sex offense, but who do not present a relatively high risk of re-offense, justifies the decision to limit public access to information about such juveniles through the Internet. Other instances where the Legislature has determined that making sex offender registry information available to the general public through the Internet would not necessarily serve the public safety purposes of the law include moderate risk offenders whose sole sex offense involved incest or consensual sex. However, in such cases, the legislature deems it appropriate and consistent with the public safety purposes of the law to provide a process that permits inclusion of information about these individuals in the Internet registry where public access would be warranted, based on the relative risk posed by the particular offender.