Despite Law, Many CA Sex Offenders Go Unsupervised


Hundreds of California sex offenders who are supposed to be monitored for life under an initiative approved by voters are unsupervised because the law does not detail who is responsible for tracking them or how to pay for enforcement, reports th Los Angeles Times. The ambiguity in Proposition 83, commonly known as Jessica’s law, could affect thousands of sex offenders returning to local communities. State corrections officials are warning local law enforcers that 553 convicted sex offenders who they believe fall under Proposition 83 have already been dismissed from parole and are not being monitored.

There is no way to check whether they are complying with the law’s requirement that they live more than 2,000 feet from schools and parks, and they are not being tracked by satellite for life. An additional 98 are expected to leave parole by year’s end. California Corrections Secretary James Tilton has begun notifying local law enforcement agencies that the state would no longer take responsibility for placing tracking devices on the ankles of sex offenders once they leave parole. Few if any local agencies around the state are equipped to handle the expensive and intensive satellite monitoring the law requires. The law is not clear on whether they should have to do so. The initiative, approved by 70 percent of voters last November, does not specify basic details, including which sex offenders require supervision, who should monitor them, how to define the restrictions on living near places where children congregate, and how to pay for satellite tracking, which could cost hundreds of millions of dollars a year. “It was a very badly written bill,” said Tom Tobin, a psychologist who treats sex offenders and is on a board overseeing the law’s implementation.


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