Friday, March 27, 2015

California eases up on sex offender residency restrictions

California officials announced that the state would stop enforcing a key provision of a voter ­approved law that prohibits all registered sex offenders from living near schools, reported the Los Angeles Times. 
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said it would no longer impose the blanket restrictions outlined in Jessica's Law that forbids all sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, regardless of whether their crimes involved children. 
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. The shift comes nine years after California voters approved the controversial law, which has made it difficult for some sex offenders to find places to live. 
The California Supreme Court on March 2 unanimously ruled that Jessica's Law violated the constitutional rights of parolees living in San Diego County who had argued that the limitations made it impossible for them to obtain housing. As a result, advocates said, some parolees were living in places like riverbeds and alleys. 
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