Bill aims to protect N.J. evacuees from sex offenders

    Following the Nov. 2012 train derailment and subsequent toxic chemical spill that forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents of Paulsboro, New Jersey, a new threat has come to light.

    Evacuated families were placed into temporary housing, just as they are in many emergency situations. But according to the South Jersey Times, some families were settled into the same hotel as registered sex offenders.

    In the Paulsboro evacuation incident, a man who was convicted of sexually assaulting a 13-year old was a resident of a motel. But this wasn’t the first instance. In January 2012, a homeless family was placed in a Brooklawn hotel, with a registered sex offender literally right next door.

    A new bill will require that the Department of Human Services have access to the state’s sex offender registry before emergency placements are made.

    • WHYY thanks our sponsors — become a WHYY sponsor

    The bill was passed by Assembly and the Senate and is now in its way to Governor Chris Christie for final approval.

    WHYY is your source for fact-based, in-depth journalism and information. As a nonprofit organization, we rely on financial support from readers like you. Please give today.

    Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

    Together we can reach 100% of WHYY’s fiscal year goal