Available 24/7 925.308.6861
Karlstrom & Krebs Helping Thousands Face Their Criminal Charges

Is reform in the future for California's Sex Offender Registry?

On behalf of Kenneth Krebs of Law Offices of Karlstrom & Krebs posted in Criminal Defense on Thursday, June 5, 2014.

California's Sex Offender Registry is designed to help increase the safety of those who live in California by keeping track of individuals who are charged with certain sex offense crimes. Critics argue that there is no proof to support that the registry fulfills this goal. This is one of many reasons why legislators are considering reforming the system.

The Sex Offender Management Board's vice chair recently told the SFGate that the registry treats all offenders equally. He goes on to note that the system, in place since 1947, needs to be updated. Because of the focus on all offenders resources are depleted and the state is less able to focus on those who are more dangerous and more likely to reoffend.

Instead of treating all equally, legislators are considering a proposal to implement a tiered system. The system would allow those who are convicted of certain crimes to petition for removal from the registry after a certain period of time. One example of the types of crimes that would likely qualify are so called "Romeo and Juliet" situations. These are sex offenses involving an adult, perhaps a 19 year-old, having consensual sex with a minor, perhaps a 16 year-old. Those in support of the changes argue that these individuals are not a risk to the state and that it is unfair to treat them as such. Instead, the proposed bill would focus efforts on monitoring kidnappers and sexually violent predators.

Because of the state's broad requirement, the list has grown to over 100,000 individuals. Of this group, the article notes almost 900 have not committed a sex crime in over 55 years.

Source: SFGate, " Board wants to remove low-risk sex offenders from registry," Melody Gutierrez, May 25, 2014