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Better alerts given on sex offenders

first_imgSACRAMENTO – Hundreds of recently paroled sex offenders are being housed for weeks at a time in hotels throughout California, a year after lawmakers complained about the practice. But local law enforcement officials said Monday that tensions are easing, primarily because state prison officials have become better about telling them where and when offenders will be released. Prison officials now give at least 60 days’ notice before sex offenders are placed in communities. “We want to make sure that the word gets out,” Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger said. Schwarzenegger was addressing a summit of about 350 state and local officials who were exploring ways to better house and treat sex offenders. The summit was an outgrowth of public outrage last year after it was reported that parole agents in Los Angeles shuffled high-risk parolees between hotels to beat a five-day residency reporting requirement. At least seven offenders were illegally housed in hotels within a half-mile of schools, according to the prison system’s inspector general. There also were complaints that offenders were housed too close to Disneyland. “The whole accusation that we were sneaking people into communities – there was some truth to that,” Corrections Secretary James Tilton told reporters after addressing the summit. Schwarzenegger told the summit that he is seeking $200 million to pay for the increased monitoring of sex offenders that is required by Jessica’s Law, approved by voters in November. The measure and other laws that took effect in January prohibit registered sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a park or school and require lifetime satellite tracking of many offenders.last_img read more

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