The Sheriff's Office Cabrillo Division obtained a computer system to inform students and staff members regarding registered sex offenders at the campus. This information can be disclosed under California's Megan's Law.
The so-called "Megan's Law" is named after 7-year-old Megan Kanka of Hamilton Township, NJ, who was killed in 1994. Charged with the crime was a convicted sex offender, who the Kankas were unaware, lived across the street from them.
After the murder, New Jersey passed "Megan's Law," and in 1994 federal crime measures included similar provisions allowing states to inform a community when a convicted sex offender moves into the area. In 1996 President Bill Clinton signed legislation requiring states to notify communities when a sex offender moves into the area. In signing the law Clinton noted the rights of former offenders, but said "there is no greater right than a parent's right to raise a child in safety and love."
The California Department of Justice (DOJ) has categorized each registered sex offender as either "High Risk Sex Offender", "Serious Sex Offender", or "Other". This information is accessed in a CD-ROM format through the Cabrillo Division lap top computer. Only registered sex offenders in the category "High Risk Sex Offender" and "Serious Sex Offender" can have their information released to the public.
The procedure for the release of this information is covered in Santa Cruz Sheriff's Office Policy and Procedures which allows for viewing the computer after signing a waiver that the information will not be used illegally.
This computer is updated monthly, assuring the latest information available to the viewer.