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A look at the potential changes in California’s sex offender registry

by AirTalk®

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The National Sex Offender Registry marks the location of offenders against children, rapists, committers of sexual battery and offenders labeled "other." Pictured above is part of South Los Angeles. Screenshot via National Sex Offender Registry

California’s sex offender registry system, which has more than 105,000 people listed, may be overhauled.

As reported by the Los Angeles Times, L.A. County Dist. Atty. Jackie Lacey and other criminal justice leaders have won state Senate approval to remove names of low-level, nonviolent offenders after 10 or 20 years. This would also include people who are considered not to reoffend. Under current California law, people convicted of certain sex offenses must register for life. Proponents of the bill argue that low level offenders are unfairly categorized with a blanket public perception of sex offenders, affecting offenders’ ability to obtain work, a home and even maintain safety.

Opponents of the bill say the public has a right to know where a sex offender resides. There is also debate over how many resources are dedicated to low-level offenders, and whether law enforcement should be dedicating efforts elsewhere. What do you think of the proposal? Is it fair for low-level offenders be taken off the registry after 10 or 20 years? Does it hurt the public not to know if a person in their neighborhood has been convicted of a sex offense?

Guest host Libby Denkmann in for Larry Mantle

Guests:

Frank Stoltze, correspondent for KPCC covering criminal justice and public safety issues who’s been following the story

Janice Bellucci, executive director of the Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, she is the attorney representing the alliance

Mika Moulton, director of Christopher’s Clubhouse, nonprofit that teaches kids and families about safety

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