VISALIA – Prosecutors are hard to come by in Tulare County nowadays, and the work is beginning to pile up.
Coming down the pike are petitions asking to change an offenders sex registration status. For decades those convicted of sex crimes with a minor were forced to register as a sex offender for life. Beginning Jan. 1, 2021 convicted adults will be handed a tier of 10 years, 20 years or life on the sex registration list. And which tier a person falls into will be determined by a judge. Juveniles convicted of a sex crime will be handed a tier of five or 10 years. On or after July 1, 2021, tier one and tier two registrants who meet mandatory minimum requirements may petition the superior court or juvenile court in their county of residence for termination of their California sex offender registration requirement.
“They gave us no funding or prosecutor to [handle petitions],” Ward said. “How can I pull someone who has been here for a year and say, ‘hey can you look at these 290 petitions and tell me who is eligible for release or not.’”