Wednesday, July 9, 2014

CA - Do Residency Bans Drive Sex Offenders Underground?

Question mark
Original Article


By Steven Yoder

Early last year, Los Angeles set aside a sliver of land in its Harbor Gateway neighborhood for the city’s newest and smallest park: two jungle gyms on a fifth of an acre.

The project was more than just an effort to increase the city’s green space. City Council members made clear that one of the park’s principal reasons for existence was to force 33 people on the California sex offender registry who were living in a nearby apartment building to move out. State law bars those on its registry from living within 2,000 feet of a park or school.

We came together, working with the police department, to problem-solve, to send a message that Harbor Gateway cannot be dumped upon with a high number of registered sex offenders,” councilman Joe Buscaino said (Video) at the park’s opening.
- Just imaging how much money would be wasted if all grandstanding politician were to put pocket parks all over the state just so they can "look tough" on ex-sex offenders?  That is all this is, grandstanding!

But the state ban itself already clusters registrants into a limited number of areas, according to a September 2011 report by the California Sex Offender Management Board, which was created by the state legislature to advise it on sex offender policies.

California hasn’t been alone in its tough approach to ensuring that formerly incarcerated sex offenders pose no danger after they are released. As part of a wave of new sex offender laws starting in the mid-1990s, about 30 states and thousands of cities and towns passed such residency restrictions—prompting in turn a pushback from civil liberties advocates, state legislators and registrants themselves who argued the restrictions were not only unduly harsh but counterproductive.

But a court decision in Colorado last year could mark a shift in momentum.

In the Colorado case, _____, a high school soccer coach convicted in 2001 for a consensual sexual relationship with a 17-year-old student, was sentenced to seven years’ probation and put on the state sex offender registry.

Eleven years later, in 2012, he and his wife bought a house in the city of Englewood. But the police department told him he couldn’t live there because of a city ordinance prohibiting sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools, parks and playgrounds—a law that effectively made 99 percent of its homes and rentals off limits to offenders.

Englewood police also warned offenders that even in the open one percent, if they contacted a homeowner whose property wasn’t for rent or for sale, they could be charged with trespassing.

_____ sued, and last August a federal court concluded that the city’s ban went too far.

The judge ruled that it conflicted with the state’s existing system for managing and reintegrating sex offenders and could encourage other towns and cities to do the same, effectively barring offenders from the entire state. Englewood has appealed, but two of the state’s five other cities that have residence bans have softened their restrictions since the decision.

The other three are awaiting the outcome of the appeal, according to John Krieger of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Colorado, which represented Ryals.


Mark said...

Oh! My eyes! You mean that some one in state government is logical, doing the right thing? Yeah, only because they had to do it. In my 18+ years in the legal world I recognized one of many true facts; this is one of them: "THE ONLY LANGUAGE THE STATE AND FEDERAL BUREAUCRATS SPEAK, AND UNDERSTAND ARE LAW SUITS. When a judge or judges rule, the judgment is the ONLY language the bureaucrats understand. Any other form of linguistics conveyed to them is a non sequitur, obtuse, an absolutely foreign language they are flatly unable to comprehend. I used to marvel at this to the point where I would just shake my head. This also happens with almost all correction employees in all prison systems in America, citiy, county, berg, and many in the state and federal government offieces

Arianna Higgins said...

Is he dead yet?

dlc said...

In California this law only applies to those on Parole or Probation. I know as I live there. The police try to enforce it on everybody, but if you fight it you'll win if you are under parole/probation.

Sex Offender Issues said...

Why would he be dead?

NJ45143112 said...

It's truly pathetic to note that many laws, ordinances and such only become enacted when the rest of us don't complain. The truth seems to be that the Constitution or prior laws are never considered. It's only if nobody argues or complains that these things get on the books!
Look at the income tax, for instance...
I've heard it said that nobody ever seizes power (e.g. the IRS), they are GIVEN power by the rest of us (e.g. Hitler)...
Democracies were never meant to stand the duration and this is the proof...