The law California voters passed to crack down on sex offenders could be increasing the danger such offenders pose by driving them into homelessness at a significant rate, said members of a state board quoted by the Los Angeles Times. In the 15 months since voters approved Jessica’s Law, which restricts where paroled offenders may live and requires electronic monitoring of their whereabouts, the state has recorded a 44 percent increase in those registered as transients, said the state Sex Offender Management Board.
The law prohibits ex-offenders from living within 2,000 feet of places where children gather, but it lacks adequate definitions of such places, the report says. In some counties and cities, the law’s residency restrictions make large swaths of housing off-limits. Tom Tobin, the board’s vice-chairman and a psychologist, said that homelessness removes offenders from their support systems, such as family members, which increases the chances they will commit new crimes. California is spending an estimated $20 million a year to monitor more than 3,000 paroled sex offenders by global positioning system satellite technology.