July 28, 2017

City begins repeal of sex-offender residency rules

7-28-17 California:

SAN MARCOS — The City Council has voted to start the process of repealing its sex-offender residency and loitering restrictions after receiving a letter threatening a lawsuit if it didn’t repeal the rules, which courts have ruled unconstitutional elsewhere.

The San Marcos City Council’s July 25 vote for the first reading of the repeal was unanimous.

Voters in 2006 approved Proposition 83, better known as Jessica’s Law, which prohibited registered sex offenders on parole from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. San Marcos, following the lead of a number of cities, in 2007 enacted its own local ordinance that prohibited all registered sex offenders, not just parolees, from loitering within 300 feet of where children congregate.

But in the years following the ordinances, a number of studies and reports have shown that the restrictions have negative effects, including isolating and increasing homelessness among sex offenders, which makes it harder for law enforcement to monitor them.

Courts have ruled that the 2,000-foot residency restriction was unconstitutional in San Diego County and the 300-foot loitering prohibition, adopted by a number of cities, was unconstitutional overall. ..Continued..

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