N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 9 § 8002.7 - Guidelines and procedures for the placement of certain sex offenders in the community

(a) Chapter 568 of the Laws of 2008 requires the Division of Parole (DOP), the Division of Probation and Correctional Alternatives (DPCA), and the Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) to promulgate regulations to provide guidance concerning the placement and/or approval of housing for certain sex offenders.
(b) The State has previously enacted laws concerning sex offenders, including the Sex Offender Registration Act, the Sex Offender Management and Treatment Act, the Electronic Security and Targeting of On-Line Predators Act (e-STOP) and laws restricting certain sex offenders who are under probation or parole supervision from entering school grounds. Chapter 568 of the Laws of 2008 continues the State's efforts in the area of sex offender management and specifically in the area of the placement and housing of sex offenders. Sex offender management, and the placement and housing of sex offenders, are areas that have been, and will continue to be, matters addressed by the State. These regulations further the State's coordinated and comprehensive policies in these areas, and are intended to provide further guidance to relevant State and local agencies in applying the State's approach.
(c) Public safety is a primary concern and these regulations are intended to better protect children, vulnerable populations and the general public from sex offenders. The State's coordinated and comprehensive approach also recognizes the necessity to provide emergency shelter to individuals in need, including those who are sex offenders, and the importance of stable housing and support in allowing offenders to live in and re-enter the community and become law-abiding and productive citizens. These regulations are based upon, and are intended to further best practices and effective strategies to achieve these goals.
(d) In implementing this statute and the State's comprehensive approach, DOP, DPCA, OTDA and the Division of Criminal Justice Services' Office of Sex Offender Management (DCJS/ OSOM) recognize that:
(1) not all sex offenders are equally dangerous. Some sex offenders may pose a high risk of committing a new sexual crime; others may pose only a low risk;
(2) all reasonable efforts should be made in to avoid an ill-advised concentration of sex offenders in certain neighborhoods and localities. What constitutes such a concentration will depend on many factors, and may vary depending on housing availability and the locality and community. In addition, it is sometimes safer to house sex offenders together. Law enforcement, probation, and parole officers may more effectively monitor offenders, and service providers may more easily offer transitional services to offenders in these congregate settings. Further, some social service officials and departments rely on congregate housing for sex offenders who seek emergency shelter because of the limited, or lack of other housing options available for this population. All public officials who are responsible for finding or approving housing for sex offenders should recognize that an over-concentration of sex offenders may create risks and burdens on the surrounding community, and that their responsibility is to make judgments that are reasonable under the circumstances;
(3) all social service districts are required by statute, regulation and directive to arrange temporary housing assistance for eligible homeless individuals, including those who are sex offenders;
(4) to reduce recidivism it is important that offenders be able to re-enter society and become productive and law-abiding citizens whenever possible. A stable living situation and access to employment and support services are important factors that can help offenders to successfully re-enter society;
(5) maintaining and/or finding suitable housing for sex offenders is an enormous challenge that impacts all areas of the State. Offenders reside in all regions of the State and may have long-established residences in their respective communities. Even offenders who do not have such long-established relationships are often discharged from prison to the community where they previously lived. As a result, it is not appropriate for any one community or county to bear an inappropriate burden in housing sex offenders because another community has attempted to shift its responsibility for those offenders onto other areas of the State. The proliferation of local ordinances imposing residency restrictions upon sex offenders, while well-intentioned, have made it more challenging for the State and local authorities to address the difficulties in finding secure and appropriate housing for sex offenders;
(6) decisions as to the housing and supervision of sex offenders should take into account all relevant factors and no one factor will necessarily be dispositive. These factors should include, but not be limited to, the factors enumerated in the statute, the risk posed by the offender, the nature of the underlying offense, whether housing offenders together or apart is safer and more feasible, the most effective method to supervise and provide services to offenders, and the availability of appropriate housing, employment, treatment and support.
(e) Division of Parole staff shall apply the following guidelines to the placement of a sex offender in the community upon their release from a New York State correctional facility when such offender has been designated as a Level 2 or Level 3 offender pursuant to New York State Sex Offender Registration Act, i.e., Correction Law article 6-C. These guidelines recognize that the placement of a sex offender within a community is a considerable undertaking given the shortage of affordable housing in many communities, State law restricting the location of certain sex offenders in the community and the movement of individuals subject to registration as a sex offender. Under these guidelines, the Division of Parole, through a community preparation process of investigation, seeks to enhance public safety and facilitate the successful re-entry of offenders into their communities and effect the successful placement of eligible offenders into residential services that can address identified needs.
(f) Persons to be released on presumptive release, parole, conditional release or post-release supervision.
(1) Division of Parole staff will investigate the proposed release program of all Level 2 and Level 3 sex offenders being released to the division's jurisdiction from any New York State correctional facility with the objective of attaining the optimum residential placement that is available with the community proposed by the offender. As appropriate, such investigation shall include but not be limited to, consideration being given to the following factors:
(i) the sex offender's level of risk;
(ii) the applicability of Executive Law section 259-c(14);
(iii) the proximity of entities with vulnerable populations;
(iv) the location of other sex offenders required to register under the Sex Offender Registration Act, specifically whether there is a concentration of registered sex offenders in a certain residential area or municipality;
(v) the number, if any, of registered sex offenders at a particular property;
(vi) accessibility to family members, friends or other supportive services, including, but not limited to, locally available sex offender treatment programs with preference for placement of such individuals into programs that have demonstrated effectiveness in reducing sex offender recidivism and increasing public safety; and
(vii) the availability of permanent, stable housing in order to reduce the likelihood that such offenders will be transient.
(2) The approval of a residential placement by Division of Parole staff will take into consideration:
(i) all relevant case information, including but not limited to the offender's criminal history and present crime of conviction;
(ii) the investigation factors set forth in subparagraphs (1)(i) through (vi) of this subdivision; and
(iii) if applicable, the structure of the supervision plan and the services to be afforded through either the Division of Parole or some other entity within the offender's community;
(iv) no one factor shall be considered dispositive.
(g) Persons released on presumptive release, parole, conditional release, post-release supervision or by maximum expiration of sentence where notice was provided to a local social services district pursuant to Executive Law section 259-c(17).
(1) When the Division of Parole is notified by a local social services district of its determination that a Level 2 or Level 3 sex offender for whom a notice pursuant to Executive Law section 259-c(17) was received by such district is in immediate need of shelter, and an investigation and approval of the potential residential placement by the Division of Parole is required, the division shall investigate the district's proposed placement in accord with the factors set forth in subdivision (f) of this section. Following such investigation, the Division of Parole shall provide the local social services district with the results of its investigation and its approval or disapproval of the proposed placement.
(2) When an investigation by the Division of Parole is impracticable within the timeframe necessary for the local social services district to meet the immediate housing need of the offender, such investigation shall be completed within 48 hours of the division's receipt of the local social services district's notice that such residential placement was necessary.
(i) The Division of Parole's investigation of a local social services district's immediate residential placement determination will take into consideration the factors set forth in subdivision (f) of this section. Following such investigation, the Division of Parole shall provide the local social services district with the results of its investigation and its approval or disapproval of the proposed placement.

Notes

N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. Tit. 9 § 8002.7

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