• Megan's Law refers to a set of state laws that require sex offenders to register with law enforcement authorities in the areas in which they reside, and for authorities to make that information public. The first Megan's Law was passed in 1994.


    Megan's Law is named for 7-year-old Megan Kanka, a New Jersey girl who was kidnapped, sexually assaulted and murdered in July 1994. The perpetrator, a convicted sex offender, lived in the Kankas' neighborhood.


    Megan's Law requires sex offenders to register their addresses with local police. In addition, law enforcement authorities must make information on registered sex offenders available to the public.


    Types of information available under Megan's Law and the manner in which authorities publicize the information vary across states.


    Megan Kanka's home state of New Jersey passed the first Megan's Law in 1994. All 50 states have since passed some version of Megan's Law.


    A study funded by the U.S. Department of Justice found that Megan's Law has no significant effect on recidivism by sex offenders. The study also questioned the growing costs of implementing the law.


    Megan's Law: Assessing the Practical and Monetary Efficacy


    Megan Nicole Kanka Foundation

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