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.