Thursday, October 11, 2007

Parole Agents Begin Active Enforcement of 2,000 Foot Jessica’s Law Residency Restrictions for Sex Offenders

CDCR Agents to Begin Violating Sex Offender Parolees in Non-Compliant Housing as 45-Day Extension Ends

SACRAMENTO – Starting today, sex offender parolees found living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks who are subject to Jessica’s Law residency restrictions will begin to be arrested for potential revocation to state prison. Sex offender parolees released from prison on or after November 8, 2006, have been prohibited from living within 2,000 feet of schools or parks since the day the law was passed via initiative.

Parolee sex offenders subject to Jessica’s Law were delivered in-person notifications of the 2,000 foot residency restrictions by agents of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation’s (CDCR) Division of Adult Parole Operations beginning on August 17, 2007. Agents measured the distance from parolees’ residences to schools and parks by GPS device, and those found to be in violation of Jessica’s Law were given 45-days to find appropriate housing. Legal challenges filed after the notifications were made extended the time to comply for some parolees.

Starting today, parole agents began meeting with sex offender parolees who have exhausted the extra time afforded to them to comply with the law, and will arrest those who are in violation. These parolees will be referred to the Board of Parole Hearings for possible revocation to state prison.

“Jessica’s Law clearly states that sex offenders who are released from prison are not to live within 2,000 feet of schools and parks, among other restrictions. Following the passage of this new law, the state has been working aggressively to enforce these residency restrictions, and to utilize new technology such as GPS to monitor sex offenders more effectively,” said CDCR Secretary James Tilton. “California’s parole division is working closely with law enforcement at the local level to implement Jessica’s Law, and to better monitor sex offenders released from prison.”

Since August 17, 2007, all sex offenders released from prison who are subject to Jessica’s Law have been notified of their residency restrictions as terms and conditions of their parole. Beginning October 12 parolees will no longer be given 45-days to comply with Jessica’s Law. They will be expected to be housed in compliance with Jessica’s Law immediately upon release, and parole agents will verify during home contacts within six days of release that their proposed residence is not within 2,000 feet of a school or park using GPS.

Of the nearly 3,000 sex offender parolees released between November 8, 2006, and August 16, 2007 who are subject to Jessica’s Law and are currently under residential supervision, agents from CDCR’s parole division found that approximately:

  • 2,100 were in compliant housing; and,
  • 850 were non-compliant.
“Parole agents will be sweeping the state in the coming weeks to ensure that sex offenders who were notified to move are in compliance with Jessica’s Law once their time is up,” said Tom Hoffman, Director of the Division of Adult Parole Operations. “From here on out, every sex offender released from prison will be officially notified of their residency restrictions as a term of parole. The responsibility is on the sex offender to follow Jessica’s Law, and the state will be working closely and aggressively with local communities to see that this law is enforced.”