West Virginia Code
This article and those other amendments and additions to this code established by this Act, enacted during the first extraordinary session of the West Virginia Legislature, two thousand six shall be known as "The Child Protection Act of 2006."
(a) The purpose of “The Child Protection Act of 2006” is to put in place a series of programs, criminal law revisions, and other reforms to provide and promote the ability of the children of this state to live their lives without being exposed and subjected to neglect and physical and sexual abuse. The targeted increases in terms of incarceration, enhanced treatment, post-release supervision, and new approaches toward the state’s child protection system will, in the aggregate, strengthen government’s ability to address this most serious problem. The Legislature finds that the broad reaching measures encompassed in this Act will provide for greater intervention among and punishment and monitoring of individuals who create a risk to our children’s safety and well-being.
(b) The Legislature further finds that the following reforms implemented as part of this Act will provide protections to the children of this state and are all important to eliminate risks to children and are essential elements of “The Child Protection Act of 2006”:
(1) Creating a special unit in the State Police specializing in the investigation of child abuse and neglect — §15-2-15 of this code;
(2) Modifying the Sex Offender Registration Act to ensure more effective registration, identification, and monitoring of persons convicted of sexual offenses — §15-12-1 et seq. of this code;
(3) Establishing the Child Abuse and Neglect Registry, requiring the registry to disclose information to certain state and local officials — §15-13-1 et seq. of this code;
(4) Providing for coded driver’s licenses and nondriver identification cards to more easily identify sexually violent predators — §17B-2-3 of this code;
(5) Prohibiting contractors and service providers convicted of certain offenses from accessing school grounds and providing for the release of criminal history information by the central abuse registry to county school boards — §18-5-15c of this code;
(6) Establishing a task force to study the feasibility of constructing separate correctional facilities for the incarceration and treatment of sex offenders — §25-1-22 of this code;
(7) Requiring the State Police and the Department of Health and Human Resources to maintain statewide child abuse and neglect statistical indices of all convictions and allegations, respectively — §15-2-15 and §49-2-813 of this code;
(8) Providing for increased terms of incarceration for first degree sexual assault and first degree sexual abuse committed against children under the age of 12 — §61-8B-3 and §61-8B-7 of this code;
(9) Eliminating eligibility of certain sex offenders for probation, home incarceration, and alternative sentences and providing for enhanced terms of incarceration for certain subsequent sex offenses committed by recidivist sex offenders — §61-8B-9a and §61-8B-9b of this code;
(10) Providing for polygraph examinations for certain sex offenders on probation, parole, or supervised release — §62-11D-1 et seq. of this code;
(11) Providing for electronic monitoring of certain sex offenders on probation, parole, and supervised release — §62-11D-1 et seq. of this code;
(12) Establishing a task force to develop measures aimed at managing sexually violent predators released from confinement — §62-11E-1 et seq. of this code;
(13) Making psychiatric evaluations a condition of probation eligibility for certain sex offenders (- §62-12-2 of this code;
(14) Authorizing the Department of Health and Human Resources to establish qualifications for sex offender treatment programs and counselors — §62-12-2 and §62-12-26 of this code;
(15) Providing for extended supervision of certain offenders and supervised release requirements for sexually violent offenders — §62-12-26 of this code; and
(16) Providing for prerelease risk assessments of certain sex offenders — §62-12-27 of this code.
(c) In addition, the Legislature finds that those enhanced terms of incarceration and post-conviction measures provided for in this Act which impact certain offenders convicted of sexual offenses against adults are necessary and appropriate to protect children from neglect and physical and sexual abuse given that: (1) Clinical research indicates that a substantial percentage of sexual offenders “cross over” among age groups in selecting their victims; (2) many of the risk factors prevalent among sex offenders that “cross over” (e.g., substance abuse, lack of empathy toward victim, inability to control inappropriate impulses, childhood abuse) also are prevalent among perpetrators of child abuse and neglect; and (3) enhanced terms of incarceration, post-conviction supervision, monitoring,` and treatment measures will enable the criminal justice system to identify and address those “cross over” offenders before they can victimize additional children.