March 29, 2015

Local sex offenders under review after Jessica’s Law court ruling

The real question is, what good are residency laws? Whether 1 foot or 1 mile, no study shows they are an effective public safety method. Useless sounds good laws will always generate controversy..
3-29-15 California:

The California Department of Corrections has identified 10 homeless sex offenders in Humboldt County whose cases will undergo review after they listed residency restrictions under Jessica’s Law as the reason they have been unable to find a place to live.

California Department of Corrections spokesman Luis Patino said those 10 offenders are among nearly 6,000 others in the state whose housing options may be expanded following a March 2 state Supreme Court decision that found a blanket 2,000-foot residency restriction around schools and parks was unconstitutional.

California parole agents will continue to enforce on a case-by-case basis the strict placement rules defined in Jessica’s Law for sex offenders they consider a threat to children, while loosening the rules for some sex offenders who are deemed to not target minors, the agency said.

“There are only 10 people in Humboldt County who have not been allowed to live where they want to live because of Jessica’s Law,” Patino said. “All sex offenders will be reviewed because all sex offenders have the restriction imposed on them, but only 10 of them have been identified who stated they are rendered homeless, in part, due to Jessica’s Law.”

Humboldt County Undersheriff Bill Honsal said while the sheriff’s office will adhere to the state Supreme Court’s ruling earlier this month that allowed for this review, he finds the court’s decision on the 8-year-old law to be “disappointing.”

“I think they’ve demonstrated that they are sex offender and were convicted for a reason. They have been convicted in a court of law,” he said. “I believe the law is there to protect the children. If a sex offender can live across from a school, that’s a scary thing for a parent, for a school that wants to promote safety and education.”

Passed by 70 percent of voters in 2006 through Proposition 83, Jessica’s Law requires all registered sex offenders on parole to reside at least 2,000 feet away from schools and parks where children gather. But after a group of San Diego offenders filed a lawsuit against the law, the state Supreme Court ruled on March 2 that placing all sex offenders under the regulations to be unconstitutional. The court ruled that the ban made it nearly impossible for many offenders to find housing, hindered their access to medical, substance-abuse, psychological and other treatments, and hampered parole officers’ and police’s ability to monitor them. ..Continued.. by Will Houston

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