Monitoring sexual predators

December 09, 2005

Over the many years The Herald-Mail has covered court cases, reporters have repeatedly heard expert witnesses repeat one chilling statement - adults who are sexually attracted to children rarely, if ever, beat that addiction.

That's why we favor the proposals put forth by Maryland Attorney General Joseph Curran. Until there is a cure for this disease, the state must do everything possible to keep it from affecting innocent children.

Curran, flanked by legislative leaders, announced his proposals this week, saying he had come to believe changes were needed after surveying what other states do.

Maryland is right in the middle, he said, in terms of how effectively ex-offenders in this category are monitored.

They must register with the state and their names, addresses and photographs are posted on a state Web site that can be searched by name or postal ZIP code.


But Curran said that once offenders complete probation, they are no longer monitored by the state, even though they must register for life.

Curran proposes that a three-person panel determine how closely individual ex-offenders must be monitored. Some could be fitted with bracelets with a device that could track their movements by satellite.

Curran also wants more notification and would tell day-care centers, schools and the like about a potential predator's presence in the area.

The attorney general says his purpose is not to harass these individuals but to protect children. It's a balancing act, to be sure, but in this case, the scale needs to tipped in favor of potential defenseless victims.

The Herald-Mail Articles