City Imposes Stricter Laws Against Sex Offenders

The City Council last night adopted a new ordinance that further restricts where sex offenders may reside and congregate within the City of ...

The City Council last night adopted a new ordinance that further restricts where sex offenders may reside and congregate within the City of Menifee.

City Attorney Karen Feld reported that the State of California will soon transfer tens of thousands of non-violent prisoners and parolees to counties all across the State, as a result of legislation signed by Governor Brown last Spring. The move comes as a result of severe overcrowding in state prisons, with a solution to transfer lower risk criminals to county systems.

Of those tens of thousands of prisoners and parolees, it's anticipated that 1,688 are sex offenders due to be transferred to Riverside County between October 1, 2011 through June 30, 2012. And then, another 1,364 sex offenders will be arriving here in the twelve months following that.

Once these sex offenders are released from prison, they are required to register with the local police, and cannot reside at a location within 2,000 feet from places where children congregate, including parks and schools.

The state currently allows cities to enact more strict laws if they choose, and several nearby cities have already done so.

Last night, Menifee city council joined the ranks by further adding that sex offenders cannot be present within 500 feet of a "child safety zone". The new city ordinance broadens the restrictions to include any kind of physical presence, whereas the existing state law only addressed residency.

The City will create a map defining all the child safety zones.

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