Wilk's legislation reforming sex offender release clears Assembly Public Safety

Sacramento – Today Senate Bill 1199, introduced by Senator Scott Wilk, R-Antelope Valley, and co-authored by Assemblyman Tom Lackey (R-Palmdale), to prevent the dumping of sex offenders in rural communities was approved by the Assembly Committee on Public Safety.

“Current law pushes sex offenders to areas that are more rural and less expensive which leaves areas like the Antelope and Victor valleys bearing the brunt of rehousing and rehabilitating California’s sex offenders.” said Wilk. “SB 1199 will keep our communities safer by ensuring the placement and rehabilitation of these sexual predators does not take place solely in California’s more affordable and remote communities”

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.

SB 1199  would expand current protections against the ‘dumping’ of sexually violent predators into random communities to include, when reasonably possible, requiring authorities to take familial and community ties into consideration when determining where inmates convicted of registrable sex offenses are placed upon release.

“Current law is not only dangerous for our communities, it puts a tremendous strain on the availability of services and supervision needed when offenders are clustered in more remote communities like those of the Antelope and Victor valleys,” said Wilk. “The goal is to keep registered sex-offenders from re-offending and to keep our communities safe. Our best chance at that is if they receive the appropriate services, and have the support of their families and friends by being placed in to their original home communities.”

Senate Bill 1199 will now go to the Assembly Committee on Appropriations.