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Supervisors adopt new ordinance regarding sex offenders


Friday, August 22nd, 2014
Issue 34, Volume 18.
Kim Harris
Special to the Valley News


The Riverside County Board of Supervisors has adopted a new ordinance that repeals the loitering provisions previously set forth. Under the new ordinance, 902.2, residency prohibitions remain in place. The move came about following Appeals Court rulings on similar ordinances in nearby areas as unconstitutional.

County attorney Greg Priamos addressed the group in attendance regarding statements previously made by the public, noting that there had been a number of speakers on the issue who werenít necessarily accurate in their understanding of the issue.

"We need to be very clear to the public as to what the ordinances are intended to do and what they have done," Priamos said.

Tiffany North, deputy county attorney addressed the history of the ordinance directly, adding that ordinance 901, the original sex offender ordinance adopted in urgency in July of 2010. North explained that ordinance 902, also addressing sex offender restrictions, was introduced around the same time to be adopted under normal adoption procedures.

North went on to explain that when both ordinances were put before the board; they included a sex offender registry restriction that no sex offender live within 2000 feet of a park or school.

"At the time that 901 was adopted it was determined that the 2,000 foot residency restriction from a park or school was duplicative in ordinance 902 because it was always covered in state law under the penal code," she said. "So in 2010 the board reintroduced and adopted 902 with revisions that strengthened the residency restrictions and loitering requirements even though it removed the 2,000 foot residency restrictions for parks and schools since it was already covered under state law."

North said that once 902 was adopted, Ordinance 901 was automatically repealed.

Judy Waltz, a Riverside County resident, told the supervisors that she believed that they had violated the laws by enacting Ordinance 901 in 2010. She went on to accuse the board of doing whatever they wanted without regard to the desires of the people or to the law. She added that the only Advertisement
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reason the changes were being made was to cover past mistakes.

"Furthermore you violated all of the people. The people voted Jessicaís law in and you violated that too," she said. "I guess the people spoke about the law and you people, you do whatever you want to do. The people of the state of California have no right to speak out to vote laws in then they get all chopped up then you slide in our shirttails and something needs to be done about it. I think it is totally disgusting."

Jessicaís law, named after a 9-year-old Florida girl who was murdered by a convicted sex offender who failed to notify local police of his location, was approved by California voters in 2006.

Under the California penal code section 290, or Jessicaís law, sex offenders who have been convicted of a felony sex offense are required to be monitored by GPS devices.

The penal code also prohibits sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any school and includes provisions that increase legal penalties for habitual sex offenders and child molesters. Riverside residents would still be protected under the stateís law.

Priamos said itís important to note that cities and counties are preempted by state law except where they are permitted to vary by direct permission from the state.

"In the current instance, the California Supreme court has spoken as to the loitering restrictions and declared them unconstitutional," he said. "Every action that this board has taken has been in response to actions taken by the Supreme Court to ensure that this board can continue to comply with state law."

Priamos went on to say that residency restrictions are now before the Supreme Court and the board will take action based on the decision of the Supreme Court.

"I think itís important to note that this boardís actions have always been consistent with state law."

Ordinance 902.2 was adopted unanimously by all supervisors in attendance. To read the full restrictions and affected visit www.rivcocob.org.


 

2 comments

Comment Profile ImagePhil
Comment #1 | Saturday, Aug 23, 2014 at 3:04 am
This is a complex issue that has been misrepresented. If all the registrants were a concern, there would be nothing but stories about sex offenders on the news and 24/7 isn't enough time to cover them all. Why? There are enough to fill the population the size of the state of Wyoming over 700,000 now. It's great to be concerned about kids, but not all of these crimes involved kids. And if the registry doesn't really hermetically protect kids, it's a waste of money at a time when we have much bigger problems like open borders and new threats from terrorists. This idea, that an individual is safe enough to be let out of prison, but still has to be "watched" makes no sense by definition. They either are or aren't dangerous. If they are they should be kept in prison. And if they aren't, they should be set free. Rehabilitation starts with "moving on", as victims are told and encouraged to do. Important elements in a successful attempt to change one's behavior; and instill an empathy for others, is a stable psychological model which starts with finding a suitable residence, employment and mental health follow up. It makes no sense to release, exploit and harass ex-offenders for the rest of their lives. Behaviorally, it doesn't work. All of the money continuing to be spent on ideas like the registry; would have been better put into immediate access to counseling for ex-offenders who might be at risk for re-offending/relapse. It could have been designed as a free program for ex-offenders to maintain an (open line) of sorts to mental health professionals. This should have been a part of the path to being removed from the registry that ex-offenders could work toward. Now that the politicians "got legs" in their campaigns from supporting such oppressive legislation like the registry; the facts are starting to show it doesn't work. It is time we were honest with the facts. This is an expensive mistake. It does little to prevent crime, and does too much to undermine sincere attempts from ex-offenders looking to turn their lives around.
Comment Profile ImageValerie P
Comment #2 | Sunday, Aug 24, 2014 at 4:06 am
Pretty speech Phil but it doesnt have "legs either" ..should be, could be, would be, then at the end throw in for good measure the ONLY stopgate for the public needs to be abolished??? Try running that by a city or township zoned "multi-family" who have three sex offenders living in a six unit building? AINT gonna happen, I'll make ya deal PHIL when the powers that be can finally take to fruition the should be's, could be's, and would be's you can put in your two cents on abolishing the registry, until then? Well I hardly need to draw it out do I?

Article Comments are contributed by our readers, and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Valley News staff. The name listed as the author for comments cannot be verified; Comment authors are not guaranteed to be who they claim they are.

 

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