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California

California loosens rules on where sex offenders can live

California officials announced Thursday the state will stop enforcing a key provision of a voter-approved law that prohibits all registered sex offenders from living near schools.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said it will no longer impose the blanket restrictions outlined in Jessica’s Law, which prevented all sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, regardless of whether their crimes involved children. Full Article

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UT San Diego

SF Chronicle

CBS Sacramento

KCRA

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  1. David

    Good, but …. that’s just CDCR and its announcement (as indicated in the article) specifically refers to parolees.
    Who knows how the myriad other State and local law enforcement agencies will respond?
    CA Supreme Court sure created a confusing mess with their mealy-mouthed (non-)decision!

    • Art

      This is a step in a great direction. These decisions happen bit by bit, but it is in the direction we want.

  2. Vis I Tor

    “After reviewing the court’s analysis, the state attorney general’s office advised CDCR that applying the blanket mandatory residency restrictions of Jessica’s Law would be found to be unconstitutional in every county.”

    +1 for our side??? Trickle down effect, anyone?

  3. JM

    Well…It’s about time.
    No longer will the families that can provide stable housing to their loved ones, be subjected to this law.

  4. Anonymous Nobody

    I was just about to post that – I see you already have. Well, here’s the LA Times take on it:

    http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-california-sex-offenders-20150326-story.html#navtype=outfit

    I note, while these articles seem to be using broad language, in fact, being as this is the state Corrections Department, this applies only to parolees. The Corrections Department has no oversight of registrants once they are off parole. This simply means the Corrections Department is not going to violate their parole – it says nothing of other authorities making an arrest nor of enforcement against registrants not on parole.

    I gather possibly half those on parole might still be subject to residency restrictions even with this.

    And mind you:

    “The ruling, and the change in policy, do not affect a different law that will continue to bar certain high-risk child molesters from living within a half-mile of any K-12 public or private school.”

    So, we still must await some similar announcement from AG Kamala Harris — and frankly, I’m miffed that she did not join in this. Harris needs to issue a formal AG opinion agreeing with this and extending it to all registrants. We are no safe until she does so.

    I can see this restriction against high risk offenders who offense involved children – while they are on parole, since parole is considered to be a form of custody. But not once they are off it. And Harris need to say “not once they are off parole” too.

    Can CA RSOL raise the issue with the AG’s office, seeking for an official opinion?

  5. Michael

    Too bad they don’t let you comment on the Times page.
    But you can on the UT page.

  6. mike

    This is great news for some but very disturbing news for all those convicted of lewd act with a minor under 14. I was convicted of attempted lewd act from the internet so I’m lumped in with all those that sexually abuse prepubesent children which are people with true mental disorders. I am not a pedophiles as I have never had nor will I ever have any sexual attraction to prepubesent children but yet me and a lot of others in my same position are still going to be subjected to these crazy restrictions and laws simply because our alleged victim was under 14. It is a step in the right direction but its a baby step. I realy don’t see how they can apply these restrictions to anyone since it has shown no demostratable effect in reducing or preventing crime and it is still counter productive to the legislative intent no matter what the underlying offense was of the offender. I just hope they don’t start making laws targeting individuals that are in similar situation as myself. I expect it to happen and I only hope were not screwed by the court decision.

    • Timmr

      I’m thinking they’ve added so many offenses to the registry in a way to confuse the public, and when any of these laws “loosen” it makes the courts and the politicians look somewhat reasonable, when they really have just ratcheted back one notch on the throttle, after the draconian politicians had already moved the punishment train two or three notches forward. What is needed is for someone to run this myth train off the tracks, and put all this political energy into solving the problems that need to be dealt with, like this state having only one year of water left.

  7. mike

    Why has nobody ever made a facial challenge to megans law based in the fact that it infringes on fundamental rights and liberties of free citizens while not making any demostratable effect in reducing or preventing crime and is counter productive to the legislative intent of the law. It seems that all the data studies and reports available today all conclude that the registry does nothing to improve public saftey or prevent crime while it severly infringes upon fundamental rights.

    The facial challenge means that you are saying the law – on its very face, in its very text and the requirements it establishes – is unconstitutional here, there and everywhere, at all times.

      • Nicholas Maietta

        I just finished writing code and running the entire Alabama registry, creating a mailing database for a project that as i understand, may include dealing with Smith vs Doe more head on.

        If anyone reading this knows someone in Alabama, let them know to pay attention to their mail and do not just throw everything away.

  8. SkeletonLander

    Mike, you are buying into the line the general public has about people who “sexually abuse prepubesent children which are people with true mental disorders”.

    This is the very stereotype we are trying to overcome. Each sex offenders committed their crime for a very specific reason. The spectrum of dysfunctional thinking that went into the crime ranges from drug abuse, being abused as a child, personality disorders all the way to true sociopaths who quite honestly should not be out and about.

    The problems with the current “non-punitive” registration laws and residency restrictions lies not in their misguided attempts at making the public safer, but rather in the erosion to ALL peoples civil liberties provided by the constitution. Our rights to be treated individually by the law, our rights to free assembly, our rights to restore our standing in the community regardless of how distasteful our crime. Our protections about being punished twice for a crime, our rights against retroactive punishment…the list of true violations goes on and on.

    Please, we need to stand together as a community and offer sympathy and support to all of us that struggle under the banner of “sex offender”

  9. MM

    Now we must wait for the decision on those NOT on parole! It can’t be long … How could someone on parole have more rights than someone not? After all … Like a post wrote a while ago … The Jenga game is a perfect example … The crucial block has been pulled. How can cities not know a lawsuit will follow if they don’t change/repeal their restrictions!

  10. anonymously

    It appears the CDCR is not following the California Supreme Courts decision by not applying residency restrictions on a case by case basis for all rso’s on parole. By shrinking the blanket from all rso’s on parole to rso’s on parole with convictions involving children under 14 or high risk offenders, the blanket has been shrunk but its a still a blanket restriction and not evaluating on a case by case basis for all rso’s on parole. The last 2 plaintiffs in the Taylor case, Julie and Stephen had convictions involving children under 14. Is it possible to sue the CDCR to make it abide by the California Supreme Courts ruling?

    • Anonymous

      Something is not quite right with this announcement. I think whoever made this statement didn’t have all the facts. As of right now, all SO’s on parole are given the 2000 foot rule. There is a parole condition for a 1/2 mile rule, however, this is only given to a very few select parolees (I think they need to have a static of 6+ to get this condition). I’m on parole, my victim was under 14, however, I only have the 2000 foot rule on my conditions.

      It doesn’t make sense that CDCR would apply to those who’s victims were under 14, because, then they would be violating the ruling since this is still blanketing offenders. In order for them to impose the condition on the parolee, they would need to justify it. I think what they meant to say is those on parole that have the 1/2 mile rule will still have them. Or perhaps they misworded it on purpose so as not to get more backlash.

    • Timmr

      If the residency restrictions were unfair to these plaintiffs, it does seem it would be even more arbitrary to apply it to those who had only one victim, and to those who had been given probation, because the psychological reports and the circumstances behind the case indicated little likelihood to reoffend. I think the real problem here is that the legislature and the voters are putting conditions on former offenders outside the courts where the individual cases took place. You’re right, these look like no more than blanket restrictions, and not case by case. I was listening to PBS, and they reported that the residency restrictions will be applied to all “pedophiles” and those whose crimes involved children and are on parole. If this report is wrong, anyone let me know, and I will gladly inform KPPS of their mis-reporting.

    • steve

      They are only talking about parolees

      “High-risk sex offenders and those whose crimes involved children under 14 will still be prohibited from living within a half-mile of a school, the CDCR emphasized. Otherwise, officials will assess each PAROLEE based on factors relating to their individual cases, the agency said.” They made it very confusing.

      They should have started the paragraph” Paroled High risk sex offenders….”

  11. G4Change

    SQUEAK….SQUEAK….SQUEAK….SQUEAK….SQUEAK….SQUEAK….SQUEAK….SQUEAK….
    Let’s keep that wheel squeaking.
    Little by little, we are being heard.
    Our numbers continue to grow, so we must continue to speak – and even louder.
    Thank you, Janice, Chance, Frank (and any other names I’m not aware of) for everything you are doing.

  12. mk

    It wont matter to us, since my hub finally finally found a place to live.
    He signed a lease for a yr. And after that is over he will still have about 9 more months to go before parole is over.

    Ive become so depressed about this whole thing. The not knowing if he will actually be allowed to live here once parole is over or not. Makes planning our future very difficult.

    At least now that he has a home to go to, he does not have to sleep in the car and move wherever he is every 2 hrs. (now there is a *rule* that should be banned) He does not have to go in every month to register and see his PO every week either.

    • G4Change

      “Ive become so depressed about this whole thing.”

      Make sure you know that you’re not alone, and that all of us are here for you and for one another.
      Good luck to you guys, and God Bless!

  13. sadandmad

    HELLOO?! what about the GPS/ ankle monitor? and 10 pm curfew?! do those still apply if i can now live by a school or park?? and am i now ALLOWED to enter a park? i have a daughter, i want to be able to take her and push her on the swings and watch her run around, and be able to play games myself.

    i want to be able to go swimming!

  14. MM

    I know it’s a redundant question …. But, after reading the attached newspaper articles they all say the same thing. Restrictions for registrants (those required to register) will be decided on a case by case basis. Great! What if you don’t have anyone to determine that for you? Will the city you live in determine your case by case basis? Off parole since 1990. Now what? Who “decides”?

  15. anonymously

    MM said “by case basis. Great! What if you don’t have anyone to determine that for you? Will the city you live in determine your case by case basis? Off parole since 1990. Now what? Who “decides”?”

    It was my understanding that decisions on each case would be done by the judiciary. That is why CDCR are not obeying the ruling of the California Supreme Court. Their new announced policy is still implementing blanket restrictions on paroled rso’s with victims under age 14 and high risk offenders, just like the last two plaintiffs Julie and Stephen in the Taylor case. All 4 plaintiffs including Julie and Stephen won the case. How can CDCR be forced to abide by the ruling of the California Supreme Court? Can citizens arrests be made on CDCR officials?

    • Anonymous

      Actually, CDCR is wording it so as to confuse the general population and not receive as much backlash. I even had to read it a few times before I understood what they were saying. Notice they use the term “high risk” rso’s with victims under age 14. This does not apply to all SO’s on parole that have a victim under 14. There is a parole condition that is stricter than the 2000 foot rule, it is the 1/2 mile rule – this condition is only given to SO’s that have a static score of 6+, basically, very small minority.

      So what CDCR is basically saying, is that those will still have the 1/2 mile rule. If you don’t have this parole condition, than you shouldn’t have any resident restrictions, even with a victim under 14. Hopefully that clears it up.

  16. Lin

    How do I sign up to comment , have so much to say about this its inhumane, they are creating homelessness.

  17. Kingsgirl

    I would suggest to anyone prior to release to purchase any type of RV they can afford at least this will give them a place to urinate in the middle of the night. This is insane, there is no restoration for these people, only further severe punishment .. even after they have served their time. It might behoove you to read this article and the speech delivered to by a supreme court justice in 2003. It has not changed much has it? Seems noone payed attention especially Ventura County, CA.

    http://www.november.org/stayinfo/breaking/Kennedy.html

    http://www.friendsjournal.org/sex-offenders-are-people-too/

  18. mike

    The smith vs doe case was argued in ex post facto claims and it seems any challenge has been based on that issue. We need to forget that challenge as its been unsuccessful and is very limited on who would get relief anyway. There has been no facial challenge to the awa or megans law on the grounds that it severly infringes on our liberties and our rights to privacy and other fundamental rights like to be free from unreasonable arbitrary oppressive official action just like stated in the Taylor case without achieving the legislative goal of reducing crime or protecting the public and is actually counter productive to the legislative intent. This is a facial challenge since is has can be proven thru all the studies research papers and conclusions from so many orginizations including the casomb boards own report that its current scheme is useless and counter productive and violates our fundamental rights and is unconstitutional in every case no matter who how or where applied. FORGET EX POST FACTO its irrelevant and has been exuasted the challenges above have never been brought forth that I can find and its incomprehensible to me that no one has brought these challenges to court.

  19. mike

    I find it so frustrating and illogical that these issues or challenges have never been brought forth am I missing something or what. I know I am a layman when it comes to law and the courts but it seems like anyone with a reasonable sound mind can see how many constitutional protections megans law and the awa violate besides ex post facto. The Taylor case outlined just a few of the fundamental rights that are violated by the laws while not achieving the legislative purpose. Even if it did achieve the legislative purpose if protecting the public which it doesn’t the law I believe would still be unconstitutional as it violates to many fundamental rights to justify its use. I guess since I am not an attorney and don’t have the experience to write the legal brief I can only hope and prey that the ACLU or rsol will bring these legal challenges to court. Like I said its incomprehensible to me that these challenges have not been brought to court especially with all the current evidence to support that megans law is useless and counter productive and how severly it infringes on so many fundamental constitutional rights. I repeat forget smith vs doe and focus on the other fundamental rights violations such as those outlined in Taylor

  20. Still Trying

    Folks,

    What do you all think of introducing a new Ballot Initiative (like this seemingly crazy CA lawyer is doing that is causing a stir)? Maybe we can put our own initiative together that makes public display of SO/RC information and any further SO detail illegal once off parole? Also, deletion of record after 1203 judgement? I’m sure we can get enough ballot signatures and can take this as an opportunity to educate the general public on all the research and Agency support of SO’s/RC’s and Family Members. Thoughts?

    Or, we can go overboard and create an initiative to place all these folks on the registry; Convicted murderers, fire starters, dui, public intoxication, battery, assault, drug dealers, drug takers, speeders, etc, in order to flood the Internet and possibly be able to obtain gainful employment again.

    Just sparking a conversation,

    • NPS

      It makes no sense to me that many registrants (myself included) now have a clean record through 1203.4 and can legally mark “NO” on question boxes asking, “have you ever been convicted of a felony?” Yet, we still must register? This is a good place to start an initiative and get the ball rolling to ending public disclosure and onto ending the registry itself.

    • HOOKSCAR

      I do not think RSOL has the funds for a petition drive. It would be well over 1 million. If you look at the total membership of the national RSOL, we only have 255 members paying a monthly donation. I think I am correct on the numbers. I looked at the member page and that is the amount that was showing. 10 back a month was all I could afford, but it is better than nothing. We need more members so we can get more donations. I think if we get mo registered citizens involved we can approach the issues with more of a financial base.

  21. mike

    I would really like to hear some feedback from Janice or someone as to why these issue have not been brought to court. I really am trying to understand why they haven’t . Like I said I am really frustrated and its beyond my comprehension why these logical and obvious challenges would not prevail.

  22. mj

    Mikr i been thinking the same things. There are so many reasons this is punishment and illegal.

  23. mike

    Forget punishment altogether. That seems to be a dead horse in CA at least.

  24. anonymously

    I said “It was my understanding that decisions on each case would be done by the judiciary.”

    I went back to the Taylor case and saw I was wrong. The CDCR decides each case on a case by case basis. In the Taylor case it was decided that blanket restrictions are unconstitutional. The CDCR is still using blanket restrictions. Just a smaller blanket. The California Supreme court indicated a case by case basis, not a class of cases by class of cases basis. The new policy is applying blanket restrictions on the basis of being in a class of cases, not taking each case on its own individual merits. But since it is the CDCR that decides every case, I guess the CDCR could just apply the same blanket restrictions as an unwritten rule to every case that involves a victim under 14 and high risk determination.

    • Timmr

      The new policy is applying blanket restrictions on the basis of being in a class of cases, not taking each case on its own individual merits.
      That’s basically the logic behind regulating all those labeled sex offenders, put them all in a broad class (including subclasses), and forget individual differences, even after their sentence is done. I

  25. Anonymous

    What are the practical answers to someone who may be homeless, with progressive illnesses or drug and alcohol issues? I haven’t read about any solutions or places they are able to seek help. Are they just expected to slowly wither away on the streets? Once someone loses basic housing or human functional and physical capabilities, the spiral downward complicates regaining a positive outlook or reality. If you have lost housing, then become physically ill, or depressed, where do you go, who do you call? If you do seek hospitalization for depression related problems, are you now a “mentally disordered sex offender”? I would think, with all the people that have experienced these scenarios, there would have been some organization of resources or ideas for people to glean some solutions. If you are living in O.C., is it a wise idea to move to counties that have more resources, are there others that are more helpful than others, etc? I haven’t seen any substantive information on these issues?

    • j

      It would be only fair for the state to offer assistance to those whose jobs were lost, housing lost, and lives adversely affected by the law and the unintended consequences.
      That should include health care and counseling as well as monetary damages.

      Since it will be a cold day in hell when the legislators own up to the damage they caused, we can only hope for some form of assistance.

      I know many have avoided treatment to rule out the chance of some arbitrary mdso labeling. Good luck to you and all that are affected and disenfranchised as a result of such reckless legislation.

      And thank you Janice for your understanding, compassion and effort which is no small undertaking by any measurement.

    • Timmr

      “Many thousands are in want of common necessaries; hundreds of thousands are in want of common comforts, sir.”
      “Are there no prisons?”
      “Plenty of prisons…”
      “And the Union workhouses.” demanded Scrooge. “Are they still in operation?”
      “Both very busy, sir…”
      “Those who are badly off must go there.”
      “Many can’t go there; and many would rather die.”
      “If they would rather die,” said Scrooge, “they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population.”

      • j

        The process is akin to eighteenth century England (and the Salem witch hunts) where the stocks and pillory were used. This is merely an electronic form of the same type of cruel and unusual punishment.

  26. mike

    It’s still blanket restrictions and they consider anyone convicted ofewd conduct with minor under 14 are pedophiles when there not. Definition of a pedophiles is a sexual attraction to prepubesent children and like so many others I have never nor will I ever have a sexual attraction to prepubesent children. I was convicted for attempting to have sex with a sexually mature and allegedly sexually active young female although socially and morally unaceptable it is not pedophilia and its wrong and unjust to be catorgorized as a pedophile simply because of the age of the alleged victim.

  27. j

    …key provision of a voter-approved law that prohibits ALL registered sex offenders from living near schools…

    This is a false statement from the article and a key cornerstone for media’s role in the chaos. They never take time to break down the difference between which subgroups are affected by various aspects of the law and tend to treat all registrants as if they are untreated and just bursting out of incarceration as though they haven’t done their sentences.

    These are the types of generalizations that have continued to muddy the waters with the need for polarizing alarmist views and above all; Ratings…

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