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COLONIE: County tackles sex offender laws

That plan was put together with the help of the Center for Sex offender Management (CSOM), a federal organization that was established in 1996 through the U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs. The Maryland-based organization consults states, regions and municipalities on the best practices and most effective management strategies on monitoring convicted sex offenders in their areas.

Through a $225,000 grant in 2003, Dutchess County put together a plan to enhance management of juvenile and adult sex offenders by creating a standardized and unified system with a victim-centered approach, according to CSOM officials.

"A number of New York counties have received that type of support and guidance through the process. We don't dictate what their problem is. Each state or region comes to that conclusion," said Charles Onley, CSOM research associate.

CSOM's work ranges in scale from consulting on plans like Dutchess County's to training Texas probation officers on how to monitor sex offenders, said Onley.

If asked, CSOM will come to Albany's aid, and sit in on committee meetings, he said.

Benedict has reached out to the organization and is awaiting word, she said.

As the county legislature works to form its committee, their representatives in the state Legislature are near to an agreement on a civil confinement law.

If passed, the law will allow additional confinement of sex offenders that have been identified by psychiatrists as likely to repeat their crimes. The law would confine hundreds of potential repeat offenders and hold them in secure psychiatric facilities for additional treatment.""

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