Report to urge reexamination of residency restrictions for sex offenders


The state Department of Corrections plans to release a report as early as next week that will recommend a reexamination of residency restrictions for sex offenders.

Written by a panel that included law enforcement personnel, forensics experts and victims advocates, the report follows a Los Angeles County Superior Court judge’s ruling that such restrictions are unconstitutional.

California voters overwhelmingly passed Jessica’s Law in 2006; it prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks. Civil rights attorneys have argued that the law is an impossible fit for densely populated cities, and Los Angeles officials have noted the lack of places that meet its requirements.


Earlier this year, Matthew Cate, secretary of the Department of Corrections, ordered a report on sex offender management from a multiagency task force. The Associated Press reported Thursday that a draft of the report recommends that voters repeal the residency restriction altogether.

A spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections said one of the draft’s nine recommendations does discuss the residency restriction, but did not believe voters were mentioned.

State corrections officials have already stopped enforcing portions of the law in Los Angeles County after Judge Peter Espinoza ruled last week that it forced some sex offenders into homelessness or jail. Sex offenders who become transients are extremely difficult to monitor, authorities say.