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January 14, 2009

California board saying sex offender residency restrictions not working

The Los Angeles Times has this article, headlined "There's no evidence Jessica's Law works, California officials say," reporting on the apparent inefficacy of residency restrictions for sex offenders in California.  Here is how the article starts:

A state panel is urging the governor and legislators to change "Jessica's Law," saying its restrictions on where sex offenders can live are counterproductive and calling the nearly $25 million a year spent to house them a poor use of taxpayers' money.

The residency restrictions, passed by voters more than two years ago in Proposition 83, have never been shown to prevent new crimes and may reduce public safety, the panel says.

Since 70% of voters approved the initiative, "the availability of suitable housing has plummeted," the state's Sex Offender Management Board said in a report sent to lawmakers this week.

The state previously had more modest residency limits that applied only to certain sex offenders. Jessica's Law expanded the restrictions to all sex offenders and greatly reduced the locations where they could reside.

Barring sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools, parks and other areas where children gather has driven many into homelessness, an unstable situation that can propel them back to crime, according to the board.

State corrections officials say they find housing and pay rent for about 800 who are on parole, but they cannot house them all; the number of homeless sex offenders on parole is 12 times as large as it was when the law was passed. "It seems unwise to spend such resources as a consequence of residence restriction policies which have no track record of increasing community safety," board members wrote.

January 14, 2009 at 01:10 PM | Permalink

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My son is now facing this same issue in Alabama. He has lost his job because it falls 200 feet short of being away from a church from a daycare. My son has never harmed a minor. He made a grave mistake by possessing child pornography and sending a child porn picture to a minor. My son can never live with his under aged children again in the state of Alabama. I find this to be very harsh punishment and basically a life sentence. I want to protect children also however there needs to be degrees of punishment that relates to sexual offenders. Currently under the Federal system you are a sex offender for life. It does not matter if you had pictures or physically hurt a child. With murder there are various degrees this should also be true when it comes to the Sexual Offender crimes and punishments.

Posted by: Miriam Young | Jan 14, 2009 2:00:48 PM

This is a fair and just law. One of the first laws I've seen to date which truly protects the children of our blessed nation. Who in their right mind would ever consider overturning or curtailing such a law?


My childhood friend, in 1977 did not have such protections. Now, 31 years later, she is still missing without a trace. I do not agree with the woman's comments above, namely because I too am a mother of two sons. And would NEVER claim this law had somehow infringed upon either of my children's rights. Child porn is child porn. Claiming that your son made a mistake, even God himself says we will be forgiven, but that we still must pay the price for our sins while on earth. I GET SICK AND TIRED OF READING POSTINGS ALL DAY LONG ABOUT PEDOPHILES RIGHTS AND THAT THEY SHOULD HAVE FAIR LAWS PROTECTING THEIR RIGHTS! It's all a bunch of HOGWASH!Knowledge is power to each and every individual on this planet and is readily available for your research. Don't believe everything you read. Test credible sources for statistics and deeply search the web, Court docs at the library, newspaper articles, etc....DO NOT MERELY TAKE ANYONE'S WORD FOR IT! I study criminal law and psychology. Not only did I lose a childhood friend, but I too was nearly abducted. Once at the age of 7 or 8 and another time at the age of 17. In between, having been raped by a local man. I never pressed charges. I was so young and afraid. My point is this, I grew up in an afluent community in Southern California, yet still was not immune to the lurkings hidden behind privacy laws. Had I had those warnings, and so many other young girls and boys, think of all the innocence, lives and grieving mothers & fathers who would have been spared?

Do your homework. There's no doubt you'll come up a very enlghtened person. Thank you for reading. Oh and bye the way, so what if Jessica's law has not yet been proven effective? How long has it been in effect? Geeze! The FDA gives double-blind medical studies with placebos for AIDS, CANCER and other diseases a longer period of time to prove innefective than they are willing to give a law which protects a kid's life! What's more, God forbid it be your kid next who goes missing in the event we "loosen up a bit" on this Just new Law!Give this law some time to prove itself effective. Harsher laws and longer sentences will always be a deterant for an offender of any serious crime. Especially if they do the unthinkable, most repulsive crime as those of a sexual nature against children. Didn't you know statistics have steadily proven, time and time again that Pedophiles have the least rehabilitation rate. What this means to you, if you are a parent thinking about trashing this new law? Well, these men and women who commit these crimes against children have an astronomically high statistical rate of "re-offending"...numerous times, infact! To put it lightly, they don't get better. So, we may as well, while offering them counsel, keep them as far away from our schools, parks, etc...as possible. Some even go on to kill. First starting with child porn, then the obsession grows until alas they commit the unspeakable. Ask yourself, which one of you wants that on his/her concience? Afterall, wouldn't it be great to beable to let our kids out to play in our front yards again like in safer times? It's also proven through statistical studies that most offenders abduct a child right out of their front or back yards. Sometimes their beds while they sleep with the family in the house. The higher rate of abductions are within the 1 to 2 block range of the child's own place of residence. Sick! It's absolutely sick!

Posted by: Pietra | Jan 30, 2009 10:42:38 AM

Well the person up there does not do her homework. If you do a little research you will find that 90% of child sex abuse has not even been discovered.Not all go out looking in parks and schools.It is the people who live in your home, the babysitter,uncles,brothers,fathers,sisters,aunts,family memebers, the school teacher you need to be afraid of. There is a very small percent that reoffend. I believe it is 3% to 7%. If you do some research you will find that the percentage of children being killed by drunk drivers is much higher than child molestation. I have a question for you. Do you really think a law is going to protect your child? Why do you a mother rely on the government to babysit your children? Why don't you stop crying about who is going to come and hurt my child and teach your children the signs and WATCH your own children. The laws they have now are a waste of money. This is why we are in such financial crunch. Do you really think a law will have someone not go across the city and do something? A law does not prevent. Education and rehabilitation will help. Most of those people on that list have not hurt a child. Everybody is lumped into one category.It is sad to see you upset that your child can't play in the front yard. They can play in the front yard sit out there with them. Like mothers used to. But no you are probably on your computer , or on the phone or watching Dr. Phil.Or some stupid talk show where all you hear is complaining. Be proactive not angry and distructive to this society. Try learning and than educationg. Did you know if you are sitting in public breast feeding you can be convicted. If you urinate in an alley you can be convicted. If you are a young man 18 and your girlfriend is 17 you can be convicted. For someones sake lady do some research..Take that anger and try to use it in a productive manner. Our government has a done a great job in scaring our society and they have us where they want us. It is sad that our politicians have to use this area of law to make themselves look good for votesand to make money.The stats you read are not correct they do this to scare people like YOU and it worked. There is a high percentage of people falsley accused. Remember what goes around comes around !

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Posted by: Natafolley | Mar 30, 2009 10:21:18 AM

Miriam,
The misinformation that you are putting out is typical of what has brought about the draconian sex offender laws. I question the veracity of your stories and I'll bet that you have never been married, have no kids and are probably seriously offended if someone does not let you go to the head of the line.
Get a life and get your numbers straight because yours are LIES! I am an engineer and do my homework before I put up numbers like yours. And your story is just a "story" to me and does not reflect what I see on the web.

Posted by: CW | Apr 12, 2009 10:06:51 PM

re: This is a fair and just law. One of the first laws I've seen to date which truly protects the children of our blessed nation. Who in their right mind would ever consider overturning or curtailing such a law?

that sounds like a personal opinion not based on facts. you should get your fact straight.

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Posted by: canonlensesforum | May 29, 2009 3:16:01 PM

I saw something on this on another site, but these sex offenders make me sick. You see how many are still doing the crime even after being let go from jail and probation. But its good to get the word out, we need to be more transparent.

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Posted by: Rhytidectomy | Apr 11, 2011 6:41:51 AM

This law is fucking bullshit. I'm 28 years old & when I was 22 I had concentual sex w/ my 16 year old girlfriend, well aparently her parents are fucking stupid, they called the police & now I'm a sex offender. I have 2 drive 4 2 1/2 hours 2 get 2 work everyday becuz of these bullshit laws. And her asshole parents.

Posted by: William Petrie | Oct 8, 2011 12:29:51 AM

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