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Ruling On Jessica’s Law Impacts San Diego Sex Offenders

— A California judge has struck down a part of "Jessica's Law" that prevented sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or a playground. But the ruling won't affect all San Diego County sex offenders.

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Aired 11/8/10

A California judge has struck down a part of "Jessica's Law" that prevented sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or a playground. But the ruling won't affect all San Diego County sex offenders.

A superior court judge in Los Angeles said the residence restrictions in Jessica's Law were unconstitutional. Critics had argued they made it so hard for sex offenders to find a place to live they often became homeless. Last week's ruling will allow sex offenders on parole in San Diego more residence options. But offenders on probation won't be affected. That's because San Diego's probation department has never enforced the the law's 2,000-foot buffer.

Mack Jenkins is the department's chief probation officer. He said, "Our department already recognized that there were some potential constitutional issues with provisions of Jessica's Law and so we had not and have not been enforcing the residency restriction."

Jenkins said a stable residence is important for offenders to successfully complete probation and not re-offend. He says homeless sex offenders pose a problem.

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