Restricted by new laws, public anxiety and political objections, California corrections officials are struggling to find housing for a steady stream of high-risk sex offenders after they are released from prison, the Los Angeles Times reports. In Solano County, officials have resorted to housing sex offenders in a state parole office. The parolees, whose crimes range from child molestation to statutory rape, are sleeping on cots and showering at gyms. They wear satellite tracking devices, have an 8 p.m. curfew, and are watched overnight by two agents.
In California, roughly 7,500 sex offenders – about 2,000 of them classified as high risk – are on parole, most for three years. The housing challenge grew tougher this year with a new law preventing convicted, paroled high risk child molesters from living within half a mile of any kindergarten through high school, public or private. Offenders are deemed high-risk based on the nature of the crime, the number of victims, and the likelihood they will offend again. Some 120,000 convicts are paroled from California prisons each year; most receive $200 and orders to report to their agent within a few days.