SACRAMENTO, Calif. /California Newswire/ — This past Thursday, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced the signing of two bills that will give law enforcement officials additional resources to more effectively monitor and prosecute registered sex offenders and sexually violent predators.
“We must do everything in our power to provide law enforcement with the resources necessary to protect the public,” said Governor Schwarzenegger. “Public safety is a top priority and with these bills, we will be able to better monitor and prosecute sex offenders and sexually violent predators to the fullest extent of the law – making our streets safer from these dangerous predators.”
The following bills have been signed into law by the Governor:
SB 583 by Senator Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) requires the Department of Justice to record the type of residence at which registered sex offenders reside and to provide the information to state agencies for investigative and law enforcement purposes. This will allow law enforcement officials, licensing authorities and child care officials to cross check the residencies of sex offenders.
SB 669 by Senator Dennis Hollingsworth (R-Murrieta) provides that a sexually violent predator’s refusal to participate in treatment may be considered evidence in a jury trial to show that his or her condition has not changed.
Throughout his Administration, the Governor has approved tough measures that protect victims and increase public safety, including:
•In 2008, the Governor signed a package of bills that increases the victim notification requirement from 45 to 60 days prior to when a sex offender is released from an institution, protects victims of continuous child abuse by prohibiting an offender from going within 35 miles of the child’s residence and makes clarifications to Jessica’s Law for more effective implementation. Additionally, the Governor also signed a measure that will shield the identities of victims of certain sexual assault from being disclosed to the public.
•In 2007, the Governor approved legislation to increase penalties for child rapists, child pornographers and Internet predators. He also approved measures to: create a sex offender management board to help better track dangerous parolees; make use of GPS to monitor sex offenders a permanent program and require registered sex offenders to disclose their registration status to prospective employers when applying for certain jobs and prohibit child molesters from employing minors. Additionally, the Governor established the High Risk Sex Offender Task Force to make immediate recommendations on improving the state’s program to track and monitor paroled sex offenders. The Governor extended the timeline and expanded the scope of the task force to include sexually violent predators. He also ordered the implementation of the task force’s recommendations that include ten initiatives to help protect communities from paroled sex offenders.
•In 2006, the Governor signed the Sex Offender Control and Containment Act, a comprehensive bill that enacts tougher penalties for sex crimes including child pornography, assault with intent to commit a sex crime and using the Internet to lure children. Among its many provisions, the bill keeps sex offenders away from schools, parks and other places where children socialize and spend time.
•In 2005, the Governor signed legislation to create the California Sexual Violence Victim Services Fund and to require that consideration be given to the age of the victim when sexually violent predators are placed for outpatient treatment.
•In 2004, the Governor signed legislation to put the Megan’s Law database on the Internet, which requires the information of certain sex offenders’ conviction, physical description and home address to be listed and available to the general public.