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Court Rejects Blanket Sex Offender Restrictions

Stephen Kruso, flickr
 

Stephen Kruso, flickr

In 2006 California voters approved Jessica's Law which, among other things, prohibits all sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools and parks. But in a case from San Diego County, the state Supreme Court has ruled the blanket restrictions are unconstitutional.

John Myers is a professor at McGeorge School of Law. He says the court ruled probation and parole officers can apply living restrictions on a case-by-case basis.

"But to have a blanket application that applies to all registered sex offenders serves no legitimate government interest," he says.

In addition, Meyers says the court found Jessica's Law has hampered efforts to rehabilitate and monitor sex offenders.

"The amount of homelessness of sex offenders goes up substantially because they cannot find a place to live," he says. "And actually that increased homelessness endangers children because if sex offenders are homeless, it’s more difficult for parole officers to keep tabs on them."

The court says living restrictions can still be implemented on a case-by-case basis.