Panel Claims Sex Offender Law Isn't Working - NBC 7 San Diego

Panel Claims Sex Offender Law Isn't Working



    A state panel is recommending the state repeal some portions of a law monitoring the habits of convicted sex offenders.

    Jessica's Law, approved by California voters in 2006 bans sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park. Now it appears that may actually be making things worse.
    Since there are few places offenders can legally live, many become homeless and are even more difficult to track. A new report says over 2,000 offenders have become homeless since voters approved the law in 2006 - a 750 percent increase.
    "Where they live and how they are going to live is not as much of an issue as how we are going to manage them wherever they live," said Scott Silverman. He runs rehabilitation programs through his non-profit “Second Chance” and believes Jessica's Law is simply not working. 

    In response to the murders of Poway teenager Chelsea King and Escondito teenager Amber DuBois, a task force was created to address the issue of paroled sex offenders. The newly formed group includes local law enforcement, victims' representatives and treatment providers. 

    That panel examined the consequences of Jessica's Law and is recommending that California voters repeal the residency restrictions for sex offenders.  The panel said some residency restrictions should stay in place for high-risk child molesters.
    Silverman agrees that there needs to be a discussion about the restrictions.   “I think we have to make a lot of changes," he said. "I think we have to talk about the process, we have to take a look at what we know and really institute systematic changes and if doesn't work make changes to it.”
    A spokesperson from the Corrections Department says the report is being prepared for review by the Governor's office before its official release.
    Under the law, homeless sex offenders are supposed to be monitored by GPS to make sure they are not near prohibited areas. Also, the homeless offender is supposed check in daily with a parole agent and re-register with the police department every month.
    Jessica Lunsford was a nine-year-old Florida girl who was kidnapped and killed by a convicted sex offender. Earlier this year, Florida lawmakers also proposed legislation adjusting the parameters of a similar Florida law to prohibit loitering near schools and parks instead of residency restrictions.

    Sex Offender Law Isn't Working: Experts

    [DGO] Sex Offender Law Isn't Working: Experts
    Voters approved the law banning sex offenders from parks and schools but a panel of experts believes the law just isn't working and some parts of it should be repealed.
    (Published Friday, Nov. 12, 2010)

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