Panel to focus on high-risk sex offenders

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREBasketball roundup: Sierra Canyon, Birmingham set to face off in tournament quarterfinalsThe department announced Saturday that parole agents will use GPS receivers to ensure that offenders live far from schools. Schwarzenegger ordered the task force to examine how best to notify local governments of offenders’ impending release from prison, where they should be housed and how they should be supervised. The panel includes legislators and representatives of victims’ rights organizations, law enforcement agencies and local government. The governor wants it to report back to him in 90 days. Some lawmakers said they want changes more quickly. SACRAMENTO – Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger on Monday appointed a task force to recommend changes in how the state places and monitors high-risk sex offenders. The move is his latest response to reports of offenders living in proximity to schools and other locations frequented by children. A committee of state lawmakers, meanwhile, said it will seek to subpoena top officials of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. The governor’s decision came less than a week after the administration removed the head of the parole program amid complaints that offenders were placed near Disneyland, near schools and at San Quentin State Prison. “It’s a strategy to buy themselves some time,” said Assemblywoman Rebecca Cohn, D-San Jose. “It’s three months of kids at risk.” Assemblyman Rudy Bermudez, D-Norwalk, a co-chairman of Schwarzenegger’s task force, accused top corrections officials of shuffling parolees to different locations every four days to avoid a five-day Megan’s Law registration requirement and a new law that requires offenders to be housed at least a half-mile away from schools. Assemblyman Todd Spitzer, R-Orange, the other co-chairman, said officials lied and stonewalled lawmakers to cover up the practice. Department spokeswoman Elaine Jennings denied that offenders were shuffled to violate the law, saying parolees were moved frequently because no one wanted them living nearby. That’s why some of them ended up at San Quentin. Officials could not find adequate long-term housing for 12 offenders who were housed there briefly earlier this month.160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more