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Archive for January 15, 2009

Big Brother on the West Coast

January 15, 2009 Comments off

gridleyherald.com : California Places Entire Sex Offender Parolee Population on GPS Monitoring.

Every sex offender on state parole in California is now being monitored by GPS technology, a major accomplishment that is six months ahead of previous projections, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Secretary Matt Cate announced today.

Today, a total of 6,622 sex offenders – all active sex offender parolees in the community – are now being monitored by GPS. These offenders are fitted with an ankle bracelet that transmits its location to parole agents, who also visit these individuals on a routine basis.

komonews.com (Olympia, Washington) : Lawmakers consider implanted chips for tracking sex offenders

Lawmakers are considering a controversial bill that would outfit sex offenders with a surgically-implanted device that tracks their movement. The devices would replace the ankle bracelets that are currently used to track offenders. The bracelets have been criticized as a lacking device as offenders have successfully removed them in the past before disappearing off of the radar.

“(The devices would) be a little more difficult to take off,” said Rep. Maralyn Chase, D-Edmonds.
Chase is among a handful of lawmakers are looking into radio chips that can be planted under the skin. Some of the designs are no larger than a grain of rice.

The radio chips would allow police to track an offender from a sex offender using the same technology used at the Tacoma Narrows bridge toll.

The Department of Corrections admits even with the current devices, officers often lose signal. DOC officials also note that no tracking device can prevent crime.

The constitutional challenges which will erupt in response to these inane laws will most certainly not receive the amount of media attention that the introduction of these laws do. No other crimes are punished with such draconian measures and they are being imposed after these people have served their sentences and made their plea agreements. Therefore, they not only violate Equal Protection but also Ex Post Facto provisions of the U.S. Constitution and individual state constitutions. Aside from that point; how far will we as a nation allow our legislators to go before we demand our constitutional rights be protected?

California Sex Offender’s Law Questioned

January 15, 2009 Comments off

UPI.com : California sex offender’s law questioned.

LOS ANGELES, Jan. 14 (UPI) — A movement is afoot to revise “Jessica’s Law,” with some officials saying the California law limiting where sex offenders can live is counterproductive.

The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that a state board has found that the restrictions on where released sex offenders can live has left many of them homeless and more likely to return to a life of crime. Also, state taxpayers wind up paying $25 million a year to house some of them.

The law passed by California voters two years ago bans sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of schools, parks and other areas where children gather. But the state Sex Offender Management Board said in a report sent to lawmakers this week that has drastically curtailed where the offenders can live and hasn’t shown to be effective in reducing crime.

“It seems unwise to spend such resources as a consequence of residence restriction policies which have no track record of increasing community safety,” board members wrote.

State lawmakers would need a two-thirds majority to change the law. State Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, who helped push the law through, still supports it.

Withinthescope : Board Urges Refusal of Money and Requirements of Adam Walsh Act .

Urging the California State Legislature and Governor Schwarzenegger to elect not to come into compliance with the federal Act, the Board argued:

“Instead of incurring the substantial – and un-reimbursed – costs associated with the Adam Walsh Act, California should absorb the comparatively small loss of federal funds that would result from not accepting the very costly and ill-advised changes to state law and policy required by the Act. Any funding cuts to the JAG / Byrne grants to local law enforcement should be offset with other funds to ensure that the vital public safety work of those programs is continued.”

As the Board reasoned, in addition to “particularly problematic” policy choices made by the Act, the potential loss of $1.2 million in federal funds compared poorly with a “minimum” of $32 million in costs that would be incurred by California in order to obtain compliance with the new law.