If you are a sex offender, you must register your address on the sex offender registry every year. But what happens if you have no permanent address? How do you register as a sex offender if you are homeless?
Registering as Transient (PC 290)
Transient sex offenders are required to check in with authorities at least every 30 days under PC 290, as opposed to once a year for those who have a permanent address. 1
Because homeless people have no home address, they are not required to enter an address on the Megan’s Law website. Megan’s Law requires that those convicted of certain sex-related crimes register as a sex offender online so that the public knows where they live.
Jessica’s Law and Homelessness
Jessica’s Law, which was recently overturned, made it unlawful for registered sex offenders to live within 2,000 feet of any school or park where children regularly gather. This law effectively exiled offenders as it was nearly impossible to comply with, especially in cities where nearly all adequate housing was within the prohibited zoning. Though such restrictions are no longer legal, it is still difficult for offenders to find housing when most still have to identify themselves by registering on a website in accordance with Megan’s Law. Clearly, many registrants are subjected to housing discrimination, making it difficult to find a place to live.
When Jessica’s Law was implemented eight years ago, the number of sex offenders registering as homeless went from 88 registrants to 1,986. 2 Politicians tough on sex offenders attribute this to sex offenders taking advantage of a ‘loophole’ in order to avoid detection. 3 Another viable explanation is that the number of homeless increased substantially because of Jessica’s Law. It will be interesting to see whether or not those numbers decrease with the recent lifting of the housing restriction under Jessica’s law.
As part of the Sex Offender Tracking Program, parolees and those on probation are required to be tracked by GPS bracelets so they are closely monitored. Homeless people typically are able to charge these devises at either police stations or shelters. Thus, despite the homeless not being required to enter an address on the registration website, those in compliance are still kept under close watch.
A representative from the Orange County Probation Department says that those without stable shelter are generally considered a greater risk to re-offend. 4 Registration requirements are increasing the rate of homelessness because many do not want sex offenders in their neighborhoods. Jessica’s Law showed us that housing restrictions contributed to the homeless population. It’s only logical that the registration requirement also contributes to homelessness. Therefore, proactive measures to reduce homeless by eliminating programs that that contribute to it, providing housing and treatment, may have a positive effect on recidivism and could be a more humane solution.
Get Relief from Sex Offender Registration. Call Wallin & Klarich Today
If you wish to seek relief from sex offender registration, you need to call the attorneys at Wallin & Klarich today. At Wallin & Klarich, our skilled attorneys have been successfully helping our clients obtain post-conviction relief for over 30 years. We can help you obtain a Certificate of Rehabilitation or Governor’s Pardon so you no longer have to register as a sex offender.
With offices located in Los Angeles, Sherman Oaks, Torrance, Orange County, San Diego, Riverside, San Bernardino, Ventura, West Covina and Victorville, there is an experienced Wallin & Klarich criminal defense attorney available to help you no matter where you work or live.
Call us today at (877) 4-NO-JAIL or (877) 466-5245 for a free phone consultation. We will be there when you call.