A law in the United States
(actually 50 laws, one in each state
) which requires that the neighbor
s be notified when a convicted sex offender
moves in. Megan's Law
, which began in New Jersey
, is named for a 7-year-old girl who was rape
d and murder
ed by a known sex offender
in her neighborhood
Victims' rights organizations generally approve of such laws because they keep the community informed and may prevent such crimes in the future.
Civil liberties organizations generally disapprove because they constitute lifelong punishment even after a sentence has been served, and because the majority of child sexual abuse is committed by family members, not neighbors.