According to MSNBC.com:
“Hundreds of California sex offenders who face tough new restrictions on where they can live are declaring themselves homeless — truthfully or not — and that’s making it difficult for the state to track them.
Jessica’s Law, approved by 70 percent of California voters a year ago, bars registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park where children gather. That leaves few places where offenders can live legally.
Some who have had trouble finding a place to live are avoiding re-arrest by reporting — falsely, in some cases — that they are homeless.
Experts say it is hard to monitor sex offenders when they lie about their address or are living day-to-day in cheap hotels, homeless shelters or on the street. It also means they may not be getting the treatment they need.
Offenders who declare themselves homeless must tell their parole officer each day where they spent the previous night.
Those who declare themselves homeless are still legally bound by the 2,000-foot rule; they cannot stay under a bridge near where children gather, for example. But it is more difficult for parole officers to keep tabs on them.
Parole officers said some offenders are registering as homeless, then sneaking back to homes that violate the law. That’s easy to do because fewer than 30 percent of transient offenders currently wear the Global Positioning System tracking devices required by Jessica’s Law.
“If they tell you that they were under the American River bridge, we’re going to take that at face value,” said Corrections Department spokesman Bill Sessa, referring to a homeless hangout in Sacramento.
During a recent sweep in the Oakland area, parole officers discovered that two of the five offenders they checked weren’t living in the temporary shelters they had reported as their new homes. Neither had been issued a GPS device.”
The article will lead many to conclude that restrictions on where sex offenders can live are bad laws. Do not be misled. The fact that sex offenders are lying (isn’t that a shock!) does not make these bad laws. The laws are appropriate public safety measures to protect innocent families and their children. They should not be abandoned simply because scummy sex offenders are spending their waking moments trying to figure out how to beat the system so they can prey on more victims.
The city of Franklin has filed a lawsuit against Steven Henke, a sex offender who moved into Franklin four months after Franklin enacted its tough ordinance. Henke refuses to move,
A hearing is scheduled next Monday before Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge John Franke in Room 502 of the Courthouse at 1:30. A strong showing of concerned citizens is needed to help preserve Franklin’s ordinance and many others just like it all over the state of Wisconsin. I urge you to attend this hearing.
I’ll be writing more about this issue in the days ahead.