Lawmakers Call For More Supervision Of Sex Offenders
California lawmakers are calling for more state supervision of sex offenders. The move comes on the heels of a state audit which found sex offenders either working or living at child care or foster care facilities.
Thursday, April 17, 2008
Democratic Assemblywoman Fiona Ma was one of two lawmakers who ordered the audit:
“What we found is shocking”
The report by State Auditor Elaine Howle found the addresses of 49 sex offenders matched 46 facilities where children could be present. It also found several instances where two or more sex offenders on parole were living illegally in the same hotel room. And Howle says the findings are conservative:
“There are 59-thousand sex offenders in the database. 8,000 of those are supervised and monitored because they’re on parole. And our analysis with regard to matching the addresses was to a certain extent limited to those who were on parole. Those 8-thousnad. So you have another 50-thousand offenders out there.”
Since they learned of the audit last week, the Department of Social Services has already suspended the licenses of nine child care facilities. Department Director John Wagner says 24 were invalid addresses and the others are still being investigated. In her report, Howle recommends Social Services, the Department of Justice, and other state agencies coordinate information about where sex offenders are living.
Republican Assemblyman Anthony Adams says he and his Democratic counterpart Fiona Ma are working on legislation that would encourage that – and require the state to do more to monitor sex offenders:
“If we could do nothing else out of this but get good data and have reliable information being exchanged between agencies, so people are talking to each other, we will have accomplished more than has been done in decades.”
Adams says they’re still working on the language, but they hope to push the bill through this year.