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February 22, 2008

The potential downsides of sex offender residency restrictions

The Los Angeles Times today has this notable article on sex offender residency restrictions, headlined "Jessica's Law may increase crime risks: State officials say danger of sex offenders may rise as legal provisions lead to more homelessness."  Here are snippets:

The law voters passed to crack down on sex offenders could actually be increasing the danger such offenders pose by driving them into homelessness at a significant rate, members of a state board said Thursday.

In the 15 months since voters approved Jessica's Law, which restricts where paroled offenders may live and requires electronic monitoring of their whereabouts, the state has recorded a 44% increase in those registered as transients, according to a report released by California's Sex Offender Management Board.  The law prohibits ex-offenders from living within 2,000 feet of places where children gather, but it lacks adequate definitions of such places, the report says.  And in some counties and cities, the law's residency restrictions make large swaths of housing off-limits....

There are 67,710 registered sex offenders in California communities, the report says.  The state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation has identified 4,345 offenders on parole that it says are subject to the law, but members of the state panel said it is unclear who else may be because the law is vague.  The number of transient sex offenders who could be homeless or moving from house to house increased from 2,000 more than a year ago to 2,879 today....

The report pointed out that what enforcement there is generates millions of dollars in costs to the cash-strapped state. California's corrections agency is spending an estimated $20 million a year to monitor more than 3,000 paroled sex offenders by global positioning system satellite technology. That is a fraction of those who would eventually have to be watched.

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February 22, 2008 at 03:57 PM | Permalink


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I'm a 290 parolee I first committed my crime in 1992 and did my time was first released in 1998, since then I went back to prison for sales and use of meth. jan of 2008 I was released and been out and doing good for 6 months, Yesterday my parole officer attach a GPS tracking on me, Do I have to wear this my crime was in 1992 and I'm not a threat and was not not sentenced to this GPS Tracking when I was convicted. could you please give any info on this that may help me appeall this

Posted by: m hartz | Jul 20, 2008 1:14:24 PM

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