Restrictions on where convicted sex offenders can live may not protect children from predators, but may encourage offenders to become hard-to-track transients, the California Sex Offender Management Board said in its latest report to the governor.

There is no evidence that restricting where sex offenders live will prevent repeat sexual offending against children…. The unintended effect of the residency restriction has been to hugely increase the number of parolee sex offenders registered as transients. California communities are less safe when offenders are homeless.

The latest report echoes findings the board released in January. It was asked to update the report following the case of John Albert Gardner III, who pled guilty on April 16 to the murders of two teenage girls in the San Diego area.

Laws with names like Megan’s Law and Jessica’s Law, intended to protect children, have been enacted nationally and in California in recent years. California prohibits registered sex offenders from living close to parks or schools.

But as Voice of OC reported April 29, homeless sex offenders are a growing problem.

— TRACY WOOD

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