Sex Offenders Can Live by Schools, Playgrounds
Law restricting location of where criminals can live is unconstitutional: court
By Mary Papenfuss, Newser Staff
Posted Nov 5, 2010 2:22 AM CDT
Updated Nov 5, 2010 5:00 AM CDT
The law restricting where sex offenders can live is creating high rates of homelessness, says a judge.   (?chargrillkiller)

(Newser) – Sex offenders can now live close to schools and playgournds in Los Angeles County, a California court has ruled. Sections of a law requiring convicted offenders to live away from areas where children congregate is unconstitutional, declared Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza. He said some sex offenders are left with a choice of jail or being homeless because large sections of some cities are off limits to them under the law. "Rather than protecting public safety, it appears that the sharp rise in homelessness rates in sex offenders on active parole in Los Angeles County actually undermines public safety," wrote Espinoza

Police have already stopped enforcing the law. A memo from the state Department of Corrections has informed law enforcement officers that sex offenders can no longer be prohibited from moving within 2,000 feet of a school, park or play area. Police can continue to track the whereabouts of released sex offenders, reports the Los Angeles Times. The state plans to appeal the decision.

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Nov 13, 2010 9:26 PM CST
Look everyone, the truth is the severe predators (the ones more likely to reoffend) are in prison or heavily monitored. Also, most crimes that occur are done by people who haven't been caught in the first place. The list seems to create a false sense of security.
Nov 13, 2010 12:55 PM CST
what the freak is going on inamerica? we're heading to hell in a hand basket nd our presidents for the last decade don't or didn't know it.obama flew to india and other counties to making some items so 22,000 americans can go back to work? some reports says it is costing taxpayers as much as$ 200,000,000 a day. time he has spent there since losing contol of the government could have helped countless people and the agencys that help them.they have just set up a pane.l to find ways to make deep cuts in social security benefits. medicare is denying more and more claims every day. the new speaker of the house said the GOP's main concern is to make sure obama is not reelected in 2012. gee, i thought getting the hell out of the mideast would be in a tie with restoring the country. daddy bush started this crap in iraq for halliburtin and left us with a debt similar to today's. it took clinton almost 8 years to put the country in the black. the 1st thingbush junior did was put us rght back in debt that was 4 trillion when obama took over . we need FDR, truman and ike along with clintn to make us # 1 again
Nov 6, 2010 1:14 PM CDT
The problem with the law in question is that (a) it defined "sex offenders" too broadly (such that a 19 year old who had consensual sex with a 17 year old girlfriend, perhaps without even being aware that such sex was a crime, would be included in the definition), and (b) if you look at the maps of most CA cities, there is virtually nowhere that isn't excluded. Combine that with the fact that their work options are limited, since it's quite difficult for a felon to get a job, and they often have work requirements related to parole or probation, and the law simply made it impossible to live. For _real_ sex offenders, maybe that's appropriate -- though I'd be more inclined to simply keep the really bad ones in in-patient wards, which we might be able to afford if we stopped wasting so many millions locking up thousands of people for taking a few puffs of marijuana. (Which, I'd never use myself, any more than I'd smoke tobacco; but I don't think either should be illegal, any more than I think we should return to banning alcohol. Prohibition was a failure the first time, and it's a failure this time; we're just taking a lot longer to figure that out, this time around.) In its application to some poor kid who just didn't realize the girl he'd fallen for was jailbait, the law is just crazy.