The California State Office of the Inspector General has released a report that is highly critical of housing restrictions imposed on convicted sex offenders. The report also shows that parole agents tasked with supervising registered sex offenders are overburdened with unreasonable workloads.
The Special Review titled "Assessment
of Electronic Monitoring of Sex Offenders on Parole and the Impact of Residency
Restrictions" paints a troubling picture. The report seems to find
that California's approach to sex offenses is as misguided as it is
underfunded. The report indicates that there has been a massive surge in
homelessness in California since extremely strict restrictions were placed on
housing choices for registered sex offenders. Though there are a variety of reasons for this, the report finds a relationship between homelessness and strict laws regarding residency for convicted sex offenders. The law effectively keeps
them from finding eligible long-term housing anywhere in
Orange County and other urban areas of the state.
The OC Register reports that the inspector general's investigation finds "a spike in homelessness among registered sex offenders" is linked to "housing restrictions brought by the 2006 ballot initiative known as Jessica’s Law. These restrictions, though well-intentioned, don’t accomplish the goal of reducing child molestation." Instead, they encourage the growth of a transient population. Surely this report provides further evidence that California's approach to sex crimes penalties needs to be reevaluated.