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California officials order thousands of sex offenders to move to legal housing

[JURIST] California officials have finished notifying 2.741 paroled sex offenders [JURIST news archive] residing in California that they must move pursuant to Proposition 83 [text, PDF; JURIST news archive], a law prohibiting California sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of any place where children regularly gather, such as schools and parks. The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation [official website] notified all of the offenders four days before a department-imposed deadline, giving the sex offenders 45 days to find legal housing or be sent back to prison for parole violations. In February, a federal judge ruled that Proposition 83 could not be applied retroactively [JURIST report] to more than 90,000 paroled sex offenders because there was nothing in the measure that indicated that intent.

Proposition 83 was approved last November by 70 percent of California voters [results, CA Secretary of State; Yes on 83 advocacy website]. It faced an immediate legal challenge [JURIST report] from unidentified registered sex offenders, and a federal judge issued a temporary restraining order [JURIST report] to prevent the enforcement of the law's residency requirements pending a ruling on the merits. Critics have argued that the bill would create enforcement problems [CACJ statement, PDF] and have encouraged registered sex offenders not to report their addresses. AP has more.

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