NJ Internet Sexual Predator Law Bans Some Sex Offenders From the Internet

by Laura Smith

Jan. 4, 2008

New Jersey is the latest state to pass laws dealing with the volatile mixture of computers, the Internet and convicted sex offenders. The state, along with Florida and Nevada, has made it a crime for some convicted sex offenders to use the Internet. The law affects sex offenders who used the Internet to help them commit their crimes.

Bill S1979 allows for broad authority by the state to regulate a sex offender’s use of the Internet.

“We live in scary times,” said acting Gov. Richard J. Codey, who signed the bill while current Gov. John Corzine was out of the country. “This legislation will give us some of the toughest tools in the nation to crack down on the growing threat of Internet predators.”

The law requires sex offenders to notify their parole board about their access to computers. The computers will be subjected to unannounced checks and must have computer-monitoring software installed. However, the law does allow for computer work for a job or an employment search, in some cases.

According to NYTimes.com, the New Jersey Parole Board “currently supervises about 4,200 paroled sex offenders whose sentencing guidelines call for lifetime supervision — regardless of whether their offenses involved the Internet.”