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.