Sacramento - Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, announces Senate Bill 1199 (SB 1199), the Community Protection Act, has been signed into law. SB 1199 requires, when reasonably possible, a family or community connection before paroling a sex offender into a community.
“The dumping of sex offenders stops with the governor’s signature on SB 1199. This change in the law is great news for people living in rural and affordable areas of California, like the Victor and Antelope valleys. Up until now families living in these areas were bearing the brunt of rehousing and rehabilitating the State’s sex offenders,” said Wilk. “That’s all about to change.”
SB 1199 expands current protections against the ‘dumping’ of sexually violent predators into random communities to include, when reasonably possible, taking family and community ties into consideration, as well as the availability of reentry services when determining where inmates convicted of registrable sex offenses are placed. This would apply except in cases where such placement would violate any other law or pose a risk to the victim. Many of the laws put in place to protect citizens from predators have had the unintended consequence of putting rural communities at a higher risk, which is why SB 1199 was needed.
Jessica's Law prohibits sex offender parolees released from prison on or after Nov. 8, 2006 from residing within 2,000 feet of any school and park where children congregate. The unintended consequences of residence restrictions include transience, homelessness, instability, and other obstacles to community reentry that may actually compromise, rather than promote, public safety. Currently offenders are disproportionally clustered in areas with more compliant and cheaper housing. Such has been the case in affordable and rural areas around the state.
“The governor’s signature on SB 1199 is good for rural Californians and will also ensure offenders have access to the services needed to help them not reoffend,” said Wilk.
SB 1199 goes into effect January 1, 2019.