The Norwalk City Council unanimously agreed to repeal the city’s residency restrictions during its meeting on November 1. The repeal will take effect 30 days after that vote.
In considering what action to take, the Norwalk City Council noted that studies and reports “suggest that blanket enforcement of residency restrictions have not improved public safety”. The Council also noted that “residency restrictions have the unintended consequence of increasing homelessness among registered sex offenders, thereby actually threatening public safety.”
“The Norwalk City Council is to be commended not only for its decision to eliminate residency restrictions, but also for the reasons it did so,” stated ACSOL president Janice Bellucci.
The City Council also relied upon multiple studies, including recent studies issued by the California Sex Offender Management Board and California Department of Justice to reach its decision. In one of those studies, the agency determined that the transient status of registrants is “associated with higher recidivism rates”.
Finally, the City Council cited two recent state court decisions, In re Taylor and People v. Lynch, as additional reasons to repeal the city’s residency restrictions. In the Taylor case, the California Supreme Court found that blanket enforcement of residency restrictions “greatly increased homelessness”. In the Lynch decision, a Court of Appeal determined that Jessica’s Law applied only to parolees, however, the Norwalk residency restrictions applied to all registrants regardless of whether or not the registrant was on parole or probation.