Scott Wilk (266676)

State Sen. Scott Wilk (R-Antelope Valley) has announced that Senate Bill 1199 (SB 1199) has cleared its final legislative hurdle and is headed to Gov. Jerry Brown for signature. SB 1199 would require, when reasonably possible, a family or community connection before paroling a sex offender into a community.

“People living in rural and affordable areas of California, like the Victor and Antelope valleys should not bear the brunt of rehousing and rehabilitating California’s sex offenders. Unfortunately many of the laws put in place to protect citizens from predators have had the unintended consequence of putting rural communities at a higher risk,” Wilk said. “This is not only dangerous for these communities, but it puts a tremendous strain on the availability of the services and supervision needed for the parolee to successfully rehabilitate.”

SB 1199  would expand current protections against the “dumping” of sexually violent predators into random communities to include, when reasonably possible, taking family and community ties into consideration, as well as the availability of reentry services when determining where inmates convicted of registrable sex offenses are placed. This would apply except in cases where such placement would violate any other law or pose a risk to the victim.

Jessica’s Law prohibits sex offender parolees released from prison on or after Nov. 8, 2006 from residing within 2,000 feet of any school and park where children congregate. The unintended consequences of residence restrictions include transience, homelessness, instability, and other obstacles to community reentry that may actually compromise, rather than promote, public safety. Currently offenders are disproportionally clustered in areas with more compliant and cheaper housing. Such has been the case in affordable and rural areas around the state.

“SB 1199 will keep our communities safer and provide the newly paroled offender with the best possible chance of not re-offending,” Wilk added. “I am pleased to see this legislation clear its final hurdle and look forward to working with the governor on this important matter.”

SB 1199 will go to the governor for signature or veto. Gov. Brown has 12 days to sign, approve without signing, or veto a bill.