A tiered registry bill, which would end the state’s lifetime registry, has been introduced in the state Assembly. The Public Safety Committee will conduct a public hearing on the bill (AB 702) on April 16 in Sacramento.
If passed, the bill would create three tiers in which some registrants would be removed from the registry after 10 or 20 years. The language in the bill is similar to AB 625 which was defeated in 2012.
“Passage of a tiered registry bill is the highest priority of California RSOL and the 100,000 families it represents,” stated Janice Bellucci, President of CA RSOL. “A tiered registry bill will make more efficient use of law enforcement resources by focusing solely upon those who pose a current danger to society.”
California is 1 of only 4 states in the nation that has a lifetime requirement for all sex offenders to register regardless of the severity of the offense. The remaining 46 states have tiered registries which allow some registrants to be removed from the registry in 10 to 25 years.
“In order to get this bill passed, every registrant and his/her family members need to be heard in Sacramento,” stated Frank Lindsay, Treasurer of CA RSOL.
CA RSOL recommends that letters be written, calls be made and E-mails be sent to the elected officials who represent registrants. A list of Assembly members and their contact information can be found online at www.assembly.ca.gov. A sample letter and talking points are below.
Reasons to Support AB 702
- In a time of declining budgets (state, county and city), a tiered registry would increase public safety and make more efficient use of available additional law enforcement and prison resources to protect the public from those who pose a current threat to society
- The registry includes many individuals who pose little threat to society such as those convicted of the non-violent crimes of “sexting” on a cell phone, urinating in public, and engaging in consensual teen sex.
- The registry also includes individuals who pose significant threat to society such as those convicted of multiple sexual assaults against children and adults.
- Most registered citizens will not re-offend. The recidivism rate for registrants is extremely low, only 1.9 percent for those on parole, according to the CA Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation.
- Tiered registries exist in 46 of the nation’s 50 states and successfully protect the citizens of those states
- California is only 1 of 4 states with lifetime registries along with Alabama, South Carolina and Florida.
- AB 702 is a moderate example of a tiered registry now existing in the 46 states.
- A tiered registry would end a life-time sentence for registrants who do not currently pose harm to society
- Registrants often lose their jobs solely because they are registrants and remain unemployed for the same reason.
- Some registrants lose housing opportunities and become homeless solely because they are registered. For example, Section 8 housing is not available to individuals listed on a lifetime registry.
- Some registrants are physically harmed, even murdered, by vigilantes.
- All individuals required to register under Penal Code Section 290 would remain on the registry for at least 10 years
- Those convicted of lowest level of offenses could leave registry in 10 years
- Those convicted of moderate offenses could leave registry in 20 years
- A tiered registry would continue life-time registration for those who pose a significant harm to society
Dear Assembly Member:
The purpose of this letter is to request your support for Assembly Bill 702 (AB 702), which would increase public safety and improve the effectiveness of law enforcement by eliminating individuals from the sex offender registry who no longer pose a public risk. Those individuals include people who had consensual sex while a teenager, sent a “sext message” to a loved one and/or urinated in public.
The current sex offender registry law in California is outdated and ineffective because it treats all persons convicted of a sexual offenses exactly the same. In addition, California is 1 of only 4 states in the country which requires lifetime sex offender registration regardless of the nature of the offense or the offender’s risk of re-offending.
The current sex offender registry law is an ineffective method of combating sexual re-offending. Further, itignores the fact that paroled sex offenders carry 1.9 percent rate of re-offense, according to a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation report issued in October 2012. A tiered registry, similar to that proposed in AB 702, is recommended by the California Sex Offender Management Board (CASOMB), which is comprised of state experts on this topic.
California’s current budget challenges demand a fiscally responsible change to our social policy designed to prevent sexual assault. It has simply become illogical, irrational, and cost-prohibitive to expend our limited critical resources by treating all sex offenders the same.
By supporting AB 702, you will increase public safety and improve the effectiveness of law enforcement thereby protecting Californians from repeated sexual assault. Thank you.
Letter in text format for customization: Letter-AB702-April2013 (should open in MS Word)