California officials announced a new policy pertaining to some sex offender parolees. The policy would allow certain sex offenders to live within 2,000 feet of schools and parks. This would be the first time since 2006, that sex offenders were allowed to move close to a park or school, and will, presumably, make it easier for this group of parolees to find housing.
Any sex offender who is considered high risk, as well as sex offenders whose crimes involved children younger than fourteen, will still fall under the residency restrictions, making it unlawful for them to live close to a school or park. These residency restrictions are the result of what is known as Jessica’s Law, which was passed in California in November, 2006. The California Proposition 83 was named after Jessica Lunsford. Lunsford, a nine-year old girl, was the victim of a convicted sex offender who failed to report his whereabouts.
Proposition 83 Requirements
Proposition 83 also required those convicted of a felony sexual offense to be monitored via GPS while on parole and for the rest of their lives. Other provisions:
- Increased the legal penalties for certain sexual offenses
- Established longer incarceration times for specific sexual offenses
- Prohibited probation in lieu of prison for such sexual offenses as spousal rape
- Eliminated early release credits for at least some inmates convicted of certain offenses
- Extended parole for habitual sexual offenders
- Prohibited any registered sex offender from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park
- Prohibited any high risk sexual offender from living within 2,640 feet from a school or park
- Made more sex offenders eligible for sexually violent predator commitment
- Increased court-imposed fees charged to those who are mandated by law to register as a sex offender.
Growing Homeless Problem Among Sex Offender Parolees
The new policy will grant exemptions on a case-by-case basis for sex offenders currently on parole. Because Jessica’s Law has made much of the state of California off-limits to paroled sexual offenders, there has been a growing homeless problem among this group. A recent California Supreme Court decision found Jessica’s Law residency requirements unconstitutional as applied in San Diego County, and as such stands out as perhaps the only policy change in decades which will actually make life for paroled sexual offenders in the U.S. easier, rather than harder.
If you have been arrested and accused of a sex crime, you need to take swift legal action. Reach out to the Oakland sex crime attorney at the Law Office of Nabiel C. Ahmed today to set up a free review of your case. Call us at (510) 907-6600 or request an evaluation online.