General Assembly Creates Additional Protections Against Child Predators

House members unanimously passed legislation this week to create additional protections against child predators.

Communities across Tennessee already rely on the state’s sex offender registry to track and monitor convicted offenders who have moved into permanent residences upon release from prison.

House Bill 404 enables law enforcement officials to monitor offenders convicted of child rape or a child sexual predator offense who may not have a permanent address by requiring them to enroll in a satellite-based monitoring and supervision program. Anyone in Tennessee who has been convicted of a crime against a child on or after July 1, 2017 that does not have a permanent or secondary address must enroll in the program and remain in it for the duration of their parole term.

Stop Child Predators, a Washington-based nonprofit dedicated to preventing child exploitation and other crimes against children, estimates that 1 in 5 girls are exploited before they reach adulthood.

The new monitoring system will allow law enforcement to determine if probation or parole has been violated by showing the location of the sexual offender, regardless of whether they have a permanent address. This legislation adds an additional layer of protection for Tennessee children against predators.

The full text of House Bill 404 can be accessed by visiting the Tennessee General Assembly website at: http://wapp.capitol.tn.gov/apps/BillInfo/Default.aspx?BillNumber=HB0404&ga=110.

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