Homeless Sex Offenders in San Francisco Move Indoors

Categories: Crime
Sex offenders are moving inside.
While all homeless sex offenders in San Francisco will have to report to round-up centers on Halloween, there will likely be fewer transients who need to check in this year.

​In the last six months, San Francisco's public defender has quietly won temporary stays on Jessica's Law residency restrictions for between 50 and 60 homeless sex offenders, who have since been able to move inside, SF Weekly has learned.

The stays have relieved the Catch-22 that plagued sex offenders paroled to San Francisco since passage of the 2006 state ballot measure, which we covered in a 2009 feature. Jessica's Law mandates that sex offenders cannot live within 2,000 feet of a school or park, which, in dense San Francisco, has meant they can't live at any fixed location at all. That means they've instead slept in RVs or vans, on a series of couches, or on the street. 

The only agency that heeded the residency restrictions was the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, enforcing it on sex offender parolees -- even those whose convictions are as minor as indecent exposure, and are decades old. 

"Would you like them on the streets, or in a stable housing situation?" says Dorothy Bischoff, of the Public Defender's research department. 

The California Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that local jurisdictions would have to consider the constitutional arguments against Jessica's Law, and sex offenders have been challenging the restrictions throughout the state. 

Starting last spring, the San Francisco Public Defender's Office began filing habeas corpus petitions for individual sex offenders in Superior Court. While considering the petitions, Presiding Judge Cynthia Lee has approved temporary stays on the residency restrictions for some 50 parolees, says Bischoff. However, parole officials count as many as 60. 

The news quickly circulated among parolees, who have walked into the Public Defender's Office to see if they, too, could get a stay, Bischoff says.

Jeff Adachi, the media-savvy public defender who is also running for mayor, has remained quiet about the legal successes. "I wouldn't seek publicity on such a thing because the law was enacted because it's an emotional issue," says Bischoff. "You hear about Jessica and hear 'sex offenders' and most people don't really feel they want to help sex offenders necessarily. But they don't understand what this law means, especially in a city like San Francisco." 

Indeed, the state's own Sex Offender Management Board has spoken out against Jessica's Law residency restrictions, saying homelessness destabilizes sex offenders' lives, making it difficult to get a job or reconnect with family. That only increases the chances they'll reoffend, the board wrote in a 2008 report

Parolees with stays still must wear the Jessica's Law-mandated GPS ankle bracelet. Parolees whose sex offense involved children still face restrictions from another state law that mandates they must live at least a half-mile away from a school, says Matthew Goughnour, parole administrator for the region that includes San Francisco.

That aside, Goughnour says there's been 60 stays for San Francisco parolees so far, though some of those people have violated their parole and been sent back to prison.

Bischoff says the stays make law enforcement's job to track sex offenders easier. "Though the parole officers would never say it, I think they're happy we're doing this because it makes it easier for their people to succeed and to supervise them." 

But on paper, the CDCR doesn't support the sex offenders being able to live indoors at all. Represented by Attorney General Kamala Harris in court filings, the state's correction department argues that Jessica's Law residency restrictions don't step on sex offenders' constitutional rights. Actually, the state argues, the rules protect public safety. 

"... California's decision to restrict sex offenders from living in close proximity to places where children regularly gather is rationally related to the compelling interest in protecting children from known sex offenders," the CDCR's court filing reads. 

Harris will be in San Francisco on Monday to talk about Operation Boo, which will round up the remaining homeless sex offenders in San Francisco for Halloween, keeping them away from trick-or-treaters from 5 to 10 p.m.

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Father Duffy
Father Duffy

This is how attorneys general such as Kamala Harris become governors.

Elizabeth Frantes
Elizabeth Frantes

I live in a building that took $ from those programs to house sex offenders.  They harrassed, threatened, stalked female tenants, many of whom had to move away.  When this conduct was reported to POs, the POs chose to ignore the complaints.  One kept making false reports to the SFPD, claiming that me, and other women who fought back at the abuse, threatened his life.  The cops, of course, didn't buy his stories, but it is the case it's a crime to make false police reports.  If they must put sex offenders in with non offenders, we should all be warned of their nature.  It's terrifying to have a predator stalking you in your own home. 

Did I mention this SRO is less than a block away from a primary school?


@facebook-100000065630538:disqus .......Listen to this...Neighbor's girlfriend makes 68 hourly on the internet. She has been fired from work for 11 months but last month her paycheck was 7958 USD just working on the internet for a few hours. Read about it on this web site........http://alturl.com/sfg34


@facebook-100000065630538:disqus ,,,,,Listen to this...Neighbor's girlfriend makes 68 hourly on the internet. She has been fired from work for 11 months but last month her paycheck was 7958 USD just working on the internet for a few hours. Read about it on this web site....http://alturl.com/sfg34

Bill Anderson
Bill Anderson

Please read my story of Masters degree to homelessness with a search for "New police weapon against homeless" on homeless forums. Bill Anderson

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