Until now, sex offenders were not screened to determine if they were “high risk” until after they’d been released. But a recommendation from the Governor’s High Risk Sex Offender Task Force prompted Schwarzenegger to issue a new executive order. It requires sex offenders to be screened at least 45 days *before* they get out of prison. It also requires local law enforcement be informed. Corrections Secretary Jim Tilton:
“We felt it was so important not to keep allowing these folks to be released from prison without cooperation, notice and screening, that we need to move it back into the prison.”
A law in effect since January prohibits certain high risk sex offenders from living within a half-mile of a school. Tilton says the new regulations will help the department comply with that more easily. Right now about five-thousand sex offenders are released each year – and 20 percent of them are labeled high-risk. Tilton says he’s unsure how that might change with the new screenings.