An untold number of Calfornia sex offenders sought legal protection yesterday as state parole agents laid out a dragnet to put hundreds of them back in prison for violating the residency provisions of Jessica’s Law, reports the Sacramento Bee. Inmate-rights lawyers said they were bombarded with phone calls from recently paroled sex offenders facing a deadline to move if they lived within 2,000 feet of a school or park, or face more prison time. The California Supreme Court issued a stay order to stop the state from revoking the parole of four of the offenders.
Some 855 sex offenders up and down the state are facing reincarceration over the next two weeks if they don’t find a new place to live, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The residency restriction was a key provision of the Jessica’s Law initiative that California voters overwhelmingly approved last November. Over the summer, parole officials ran a computerized map scan on sex offenders released since the law went into effect and determined that 2,800 of them were living within 2,000 feet of the restricted locations.