Nevada's New Sex Offender Law - 8 News NOW

Jonathan Humbert, Reporter

Nevada's New Sex Offender Law

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Nevada Governor Jim Gibbons signed a massive bill Monday aimed at taking sex offenders out of the community. This was a bill that brought together political opposites.

Read more about Senate Bill 471

State Senator Dina Titus supported parts of the bill. The governor gave funding to other parts. But together, these unlikely allies have made Nevada a tough place to live if you are a sex offender.

Sen. Titus said, "You can't keep them all in jail forever, but we can know where they're going."

And by signing the new bill into law, Gibbons brings new rules into play for registered sex offenders. "To make sure that kids, when they come to school, the hardest thing they have to worry about is that education. They don't have to worry about their safety."

Offenders will have to register with law enforcement before leaving prison, Tier 3 sex offenders will have to wear GPS bracelets and pay for it. Those bracelets will tip off police whenever an offender violates the new distance law. Offenders can't live within 1,000 feet of a school, park or playground, and hang around within 500 feet of one of those safe havens.

"It tracks these offenders at all times. They are the worst offenders; they are the most likely to re-offend. We want to know where they are," Titus added.

Community activists like Jim McMillion don't think this is a political issue; it's an issue of pride and protection. He agrees with the new rules. The 25-year Las Vegas resident and former police officer says Nevada needs to stand up to this kind of crime.

"And we spent years and years more or less ignoring the fact that we had sex offenders, especially around schools," McMillion said.

Governor Gibbons says people like McMillion make the difference patrolling schools and keeping predators at bay. "When you see people that are volunteers and community activists, they are really part of making our communities better," he said.

Out-of-state sex offenders are also going to have to give DNA samples, and the bill gives nearly $1 million to the Parole and Probation Department to help this all happen.

But again, the idea was to combine the GPS technology with those new distance rules to try to mix the old and new ways of tracking these criminals.

The new law goes into effect Oct. 1, 2007.

Email your comments to Reporter Jonathan Humbert.

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