FROM THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
have all read the chilling headlines or sat glued to television
reports of children sexually assaulted, kidnapped and sometimes
brutally murdered by violent sexual predators. No one can hear
such heartbreaking stories without recoiling in horror for
the latest victim and shuddering with fear.
have long been concerned about this danger. In past years I have
championed legislation to strengthen our laws protecting children
from sexual offenders, and I will push for more of such measures
again this upcoming year. Most convicted sex offenders eventually
leave prison and return to live in communities all over Maryland.
We need better and longer supervision of these offenders, if necessary
for their entire lifetimes. We must also do more to notify communities
about sex offenders. I plan to do everything possible to make
sure these reforms become law.
Yet I also believe that, if armed with better information, Marylanders
can do a lot to protect themselves and their children from these
crimes. Knowledge is power, and on these pages I hope to give parents
and others a better understanding of how sexual offending happens,
what to do if they suspect it, and what measures they can take
to safeguard against it. No community can eliminate this risk completely,
but our children deserve our best shot. We must know that we have
done everything possible to beat the odds.
Joseph Curran, Jr.
December 7, 2005