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CaliforniaJanice's Journal

Janice’s Journal: Registered Citizens Continue to Face Banishment

Registered citizens continue to face banishment throughout the land. They are often torn from their families and relegated to the dark corners of society where they sleep in their cars if they are lucky and on the streets if they are not.

Banishment comes in many forms. This commentary is limited to the two most insidious forms – residency restrictions and proximity restrictions. Both limit where a registered citizen may go. Both tear families apart. Neither accomplishes its stated purpose, that is, to increase public safety.

There are a growing number of reports full of empirical evidence carefully gathered by psychologists, law professors and others that demonstrate that the opposite is true. That is, residency and proximity restrictions do not increase public safety; they reduce public safety.

This reality was recently recognized by the justices of the California Supreme Court, not known for their forward thinking or compassion for registered citizens and their families, in the case of In re Taylor. In that case, the Court decided that residency restrictions not only failed to increase public safety but constituted “arbitrary, oppressive and unreasonable curtailment of ‘the core values of unqualified liberty’” provided by the U.S. Constitution.

This decision is important and may provide relief to about 300 registered citizens on parole in San Diego. It is not worthy, however, of the media coverage immediately following the decision which falsely proclaimed that registered citizens are free to live anywhere in the state of California.

The reality of the Court’s decision is that it lacks clarity and is already the source of confusion regarding whether registered citizens who are not on parole or who do not live in San Diego must comply with the state’s residency restrictions. The only way to gain clarity on this issue is to file more lawsuits challenging the same state law as well as laws adopted by cities and counties which are even more restrictive. Doing so will require both time and money as well as brave registered citizens who agree to serve as plaintiffs in the cases.

During the period of time required to challenge residency restrictions, which could amount to five years or more, the suffering of registered citizens and their families will continue. Husbands and wives will be prevented from living with their spouses and children. Sons and daughters will be prevented from living with their parents.

The California Supreme Court could have prevented the continued suffering of registered citizens and their families by issuing a sound decision in another case, People v. Mosley, which they decided on the same day. Instead, the Court ducked entirely the issue of whether residency restrictions are constitutional and if so to whom do they apply. The defendant in that case has requested a rehearing. In order to redeem itself, the Court should grant the rehearing which has the possibility of two positive outcomes – to increase public safety and to end the suffering of registrants and their families.

The California Supreme Court protected the rights of registered citizens in 2014 when it denied review of a state appellate court decision that overturned two local government ordinances which had prohibited registered citizens from visiting public places such as libraries, parks, and beaches as well as private places such as movie theaters, bowling alleys, and fast food restaurants. After this ruling, cities that had adopted similar ordinances were warned that their ordinances could be challenged in court. After this warning, about 50 cities, the smart cities, repealed their ordinances. The 30 cities who weren’t as smart, however, were sued, one as recently as March 11, 2015. Of the cities sued, virtually all have repealed or significantly revised their ordinances by eliminating proximity restrictions.

The dumbest city is Carson, located in Los Angeles County, which was first sued in April 2014 and continues to refuse to repeal or revise its ordinance.   The Carson City Council has in fact proclaimed war against registered citizens and declared that they don’t care how much that war costs. They also don’t care how many registered citizens and family members are harmed by the City’s ordinance which has both residency and proximity restrictions. They don’t even care that the courts have ruled that similar ordinances violate the state’s constitution.

The Carson City Council’s proclamation of war against registered citizens as well as their failure to comply with court decisions will be reviewed in Los Angeles Superior Court on June 11, 2015. That will be their Judgment Day.

That could also be a day of great victory for registered citizens in Carson who are allowed to return to their homes and families, allowed to return to the city’s libraries and parks. That could also be a day of ultimate victory for registered citizens throughout the land because it would provide a precedent that could be followed by courts in every state. It is only fitting that such a precedent be established in Los Angeles, the city that created the nation’s first sex offender registry.

Janice Bellucci

Read all of Janice’s Journal

Related:

Janice’s Journal: The California Supreme Court has spoken but what have they said?
CA Supreme Court Decisions re. Residency Restrictions [Update II with Editorials]

Janice’s Journal: The March on Carson
California RSOL Leads Successful Protest in Carson
Carson Protest March – Media
City of Carson Charged With Fraud, Breach of Contract
Carson vows to ‘go to war’ to keep sex offender restrictions

 

Join the discussion

  1. Nicholas Maietta

    Hi Janice,

    I live in a gated manufactured home community not close to any schools or parks. Because i was on parole in the past, i am ultra sensitive of what classifies at a “restricted area”. Parole eventually said they couldn’t enforce the law as they wished, and certain places were no longer included in the list of restricted locations.

    Private parks/playgrounds, etc are not off limits according to what i was told WHILE on parole. Because i’m no longer on parole, i’m assuming the law is broader than that of parole, believe it or not. I am now simply wanting to know one simple thing: What can they enforce? A park that is private to park residents only, would not be included, or is it?

    This is the difference between my staying in my home, or sleeping in the van at night.

  2. Hank-New Mex RSOL

    On three weeks after….Janis,what you have said is very moving. Over the next 10 or 15 years we will follow where you go. We are hundreds to become thousands. History will look back at us for the things we have yet to do.

    • Tired of hiding

      I disagree. I think that the constitution will continue to be eroded away along with EVERYONE’S rights.

      I think that sex offenders will continue to be used as scapegoats (especially around elections) since other traditionally popular divisive topics such as abortion, gay marriage, and pot legalization lose their relevance and usefulness for political manipulation.

      No…things are going to continue to decline for RSOs.

  3. John Blackman

    To Janice and all RCs:

    I, of course, fully support our fight against unconstitutional governmental restrictions which deeply impact our lives and the lives of those who love us. I just also want us to be aware of the connected problem of how we are treated by society, REGARDLESS of unjust laws, due to rapidly accelerating changes in technology.

    What would have seemed like science fiction just 30 years ago is where we are at now and it’s only changing faster and faster. If you are paying attention to new innovations then you must be able to project your thinking into the near future and realize that soon, anywhere you go, people nearby will know who you are and know any public records which relate to you.

    I might not be on a government sponsored list or registry, but the information about me is going to be viewed, simultaneously to someone looking at my face. Do we think that these people we talk about all the time here will not deny us services, deny us residency, deny us a hotel room, deny us employment, deny us entering their establishment (“We reserve the right to deny service to anyone”)?

    Additionally, if you take away all registration REQUIREMENTS, it doesn’t mean that citizen advocacy groups will not monitor us and create their own lists.

    This is in our very near future so brace for this reality. Brave New World, folks.

    • Timmr

      Also Facebook use is accessed by companies to give employers the ability to determine your personality type before hiring. http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/6456896

      http://mobile.nytimes.com/blogs/op-talk/2015/01/20/how-your-facebook-likes-could-cost-you-a-job/

      Social media is used in Philadelphia courtrooms to determine sentence length, based on potential to commit a new crime.

      http://www.abovetopsecret.com/forum/thread924785/pg1

      Los Angeles police and others are using social media patterns and crime location statistics to profile who will be likely to commit a crime.

      http://www.govtech.com/Behavioral-Data-and-the-Future-of-Predictive-Policing.html

      http://www.psmag.com/politics-and-law/can-computers-predict-crimes-of-the-future-33146

      In the long run everyone will face being pegged by the crimes or mistakes they haven’t yet committed. They’re calling it preventive policing. Seems to me a more technologically savvy version of East Germany Stazi. Will putting everyone under the detective’s microscope make us all feel safer? The media is sure trying to feed us that SOMA . My view is it will only create a population of emotionally unstable individuals who feel watched and not at all in control of their own lives. It is creating a dangerous environment of fear and mistrust. This is the greatest threat to stability and public safety I can ever imagine and it is worse because people don’t seem concerned about it. We have nothing to hide, right? It will come back and bite us all.

      • John Blackman

        “My view is it will only create a population of emotionally unstable individuals who feel watched and not at all in control of their own lives.”

        Timmr, please Google “Panopticon” if you’re not familiar. Seems like you know what it is.

        • Timmr

          I had put that word in there, but edited it out, it seemed redundant. I liked the word, which means “all seeing”, since I came across it while reading Discipline &Punish, by Michel Foucault, a history of the prison system. Originally it was used to describe the design of a prison in the early nineteenth century, with a central tower surrounded by inmate cells. The guards in the tower could see the inmates, but the inmates could not see the guards. Technology has done the same thing by making us feel watched all the time, but we can’t see who is watching us. The belief is that if everyone feels every action is constantly watched, no one will commit a crime (or appose the rulers). That idea was later debunked in favor of rehabilitation, but has reemerged in today’s practice of “environmental policing”. The pendulum swings.

  4. David

    “John Blackman” makes a good, albeit depressing, point. It certainly gives one a lot to think about. And yet, such technology would affect millions of people with all sorts of arrests (DUIs, assaults, drug convictions, arson, child neglect, animal cruelty, hit & runs, burglary, etc.) When such technology begins to affect so many people, then at that time will we begin to see a much broader public discussion of fairness, justice, liberty,and privacy.
    Then it won’t just be the recent headlined arrestee being “tried in the court of public opinion” – it will be everyone, all the time.
    And yet, it will force the discussion and people will have to start considering how much to know and when:
    * Your excellent auto mechanic had a domestic abuse charge 20 years ago … how do you respond to that now?
    * That nice man at church who ushers every Sunday had a DUI last year …. so do you no longer smile and say “Good morning”?
    * The nurse practitioner who has been so great with your kids vaccines was arrested last year for disorderly conduct at an animal rights protest? Is she “a crazy radical”? Should you trust her around your children?
    * And what if it weren’t the NP, but instead their middle school teacher? Now it’s someone who could impact their future thought processes and opinions. Then what?
    (I foresee a great chilling of public dissent, social activism, and free speech gatherings if any arrest can now follow you and impact your life constantly and forevers more.

    • L. Mitaro

      Which proves this is no longer (nor was it ever) about “protecting” children. It’s about profiting from controversy, data collection, retention and the disseminating of this information to some privatized, FOR PROFIT entity.

      Knowledge is power? Really? Knowing where someone lives that’s not a legitimate public safety concern is… power?

      Privacy is a preeminent survival mechanism that has been circumvented and compromised in the name of illusory safety. Think about it. Actual safety and security destroyed for perceived safety and security of…. STRANGERS.

      If you’re on the registry and not MAD AS HELL, then you’re the monster they claim you are.

    • John Blackman

      “Then it won’t just be the recent headlined arrestee being “tried in the court of public opinion” – it will be everyone, all the time.”

      YEP! This is what ALL these people who want to poke at us with their pitchforks don’t get. It’s coming for them too.

  5. Robert Curtis

    The saying that states, “when you violate one person’s freedom you put at risk everyone’s freedom” is true to an exponential degree considering the information age in which we live. Freedom seems to be going in the way of the dinosaurs. How can we harness these truths and use them to more effectively fight against the registry? Using the fire of fear to fight the fire of fear might be a weapon against the registry. Pain and fear of real loss to the public must be greater than the fear and loss possibilities fed to them by the media via the government and special (correctional) interest. Redefining Law enforcement and it’s roll to being what it should be and not what correctional entities are trying to make it. If we focus our attention to much on fanning the fire to put it out we end up causing it to grow the more. Our targeted efforts should be at the base of the fire (society hot spots) and the flames (political hot spots). Expose the real fear of governmental intrusion from societies on back yard…show how the registry by design is looking at YOU good citizen NEXT! The whole 666 mark for those Christians out there isn’t that far away. It’s about control. I was driving by a couple of police officers the other day and I observed how our police are looking more and more like an occupying military force than the old 1 Adam 12 traditional cops on the beat. We need our Representatives to cut back on laws and not keep adding to them. The fanning of our prison systems are coming our own politicans we elect. So get informed but be engaged. I helped a solid guy get elected recently. He knows I’m a registrant. He might just make a difference in closed session with his colleagues if nothings else by bringing to bare questions not previously asked. No matter where you are be engaged and over time change for good will come. TRUTH

    • John Blackman

      “show how the registry by design is looking at YOU good citizen NEXT!”

      Uhh, YUP!

  6. Pat

    People v. Sorden – S120677 – Thu, 06/23/2005 | California Supreme Court Resources

    Who else gets charged with a crime for forgetting to do something?
    Everyone in todays time forgets to do things. If sex offenders forget, they are charged with a crime!
    Registered sex offenders are not allowed by law, to be human in this sense either…
    Total dehumanization on every level of human being!

  7. Forsaken

    Question regarding these banishments… So, the state said that cities cannot supercede state law with their own ordinances. And so far, the state said that, insofar as San Diego is concerned, it cannot be blanket-applied — but that only appears to affect parolees.

    So, cities like West Covina, who still have ordinances that include the following, are still valid?

    “-Residential exclusion zone shall include those areas located within two thousand (2,000) feet of the closest property line of the subject property to the closest property line of a child care center, public or private school grades K through 12, or park in which a sex offender is prohibited from temporarily or permanently residing.
    -Sex offender means any person for whom registration is required pursuant to Section 290 of the California Penal Code, regardless of whether that person is on parole or probation.”

    There’s a house that would be very close to mine and my girlfriend’s families… but it’s 1,968 ft from a school. Does this mean we still can’t fight those?

  8. mike

    Man that’s crazy that Florida or new York don’t seem to have a rsol to help fight their crazy laws. Where is the ACLU or other civil rights activist in those states. Why are there not anyone challenging those laws this country is going to regress back to the dark ages if something isn’t done.

  9. Ostracized Witch

    Will keep visiting your website to hopefully learn good news about June 11 decision!

  10. thomas francis

    The only thing I wish to say that I think that if you look at who is dangerous and who
    is not, I think you will find that the citizens who have to register are not a threat
    at all. They are known where they live, who they look like, and their case histories.
    The ones who you have to really look out for are those who are outside of the radar
    zone or those who do not register and nobody knows where they are. These are the ones
    who could hurt a child because they can disappear again and nobody knows where they
    went.
    It has been 25 years since I hurt my children and I have paid dearly for it. I have
    done nothing wrong since then. I have applied for many jobs perfect for my situation
    because there are no children involved but because I am on the web as a registered
    sex offender companies will not hire me. I have been unemployed for four years.

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