Gail Colletta

Florida Channel

Florida lawmakers advanced several bills Tuesday aimed at cracking down on the state’s sexual offenders. They’re part of a bipartisan package of legislation looking to address weaknesses in the Sexually Violent Predator Program.

Sexually violent predators are normally supposed to undergo an evaluation and could be recommended for what’s called civil commitment, where the offender is detained for treatment. But some were avoiding that process and committing new crimes, as in the murder of eight-year-old Cherish Perrywinkle, who was killed by a repeat offender.

flsenate.org

Lakeland Republican Senator Kelli Stargel petitioned her colleagues in the Senate Criminal Justice Committee to broaden an existing ban on pornography. The law already prohibits sex-offenders from viewing or possessing pornography related to their conviction. Florida Action Committee President Gail Colletta agreed reforms to sex offender statutes are needed but questioned the senator’s approach.