Keeping a Close Eye on Sexual Predators

DATE: May 20, 2003
TO: Board of Supervisors
SUBJECT: Keeping a Close Eye on Sexual Predators

SUMMARY
Today’s recommendations continue San Diego County’s efforts to maintain a close watch
on sexual offenders by requesting a search for additional grant funding for staff support
and information technology upgrades. In addition, we are requesting changes in Federal
regulations to require military sexual offender release programs to also notify local law
enforcement agencies when a sexual offender is released back into the community.

RECOMMENDATIONS:
Chairman Greg Cox, Vice Chairwoman Dianne Jacob, Sheriff Bill Kolender and District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis:

  1. Direct the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), in partnership with the Departments of the Sheriff, District Attorney and Probation, to pursue grant funding to provide additional staff support as well as to augment current efforts to upgrade Information Technology to ensure San Diego County can continue to maintain careful observation of sexual predators and provide accurate and timely information to the public.
  2. Direct the CAO to seek federal support to ensure that military sexual offender release programs are required to notify local law enforcement when an offender is released into the community.

Fiscal Impacts:
There are no fiscal impacts associated with these recommendations.

BACKGROUND
On October 9, 2001 (15), the Board of Supervisors approved Supervisors Cox and Jacob’s recommendations to aggressively pursue alternatives to prevent the release of Violent Sexual Predators as well as to develop a comprehensive strategy to manage these predators if they are returned to the community. On March 12, 2002 (1), the Board of Supervisors approved Supervisor Jacob’s recommendation to increase the availability of Megan’s Law information to San Diego County residents. On October 1, 2002 (6), the Board of Supervisors approved Supervisor Jacob’s recommendations to introduce and support County sponsored legislation to change State laws so that possession of child pornography would be a felony, and that registered sex offenders who have committed crimes against children cannot live within a quarter mile of a school or childcare center. On December 3, 2002 (27), the Board of Supervisors approved Supervisors Cox and Jacob’s recommendations to work with representatives of the San Diego County School Boards Association, Region 18 of the Association of California School Administrators, Parent Teachers Associations and law enforcement agencies to develop a uniform policy that prohibits sex offenders from volunteering in schools. On January 28, 2003 (5), the Board of Supervisors approved Chairman Cox and Vice Chairwoman Jacob’s recommendations to request a change in State law to allow school districts and public libraries direct access to Megan’s Law database. On March 11, 2003 (28), the Board of Supervisors approved Chairman Cox and Vice Chairwoman Jacob’s recommendation to request a change in State law to increase the amount of information contained in the Megan’s Law database and make it available to the public over the Internet.

San Diego County is continuing with efforts to maintain a close watch on sexual offenders and violent sexual predators and more will be accomplished with additional grant funding as well as Federal cooperation. Current grant funding will allow for the first phase of the Information Technology project but additional funds will be required to complete subsequent phases.

Federal cooperation is also being sought to require the military to notify local law enforcement jurisdictions when a convicted sex offender is being released back into the community. This will allow local law enforcement to make the appropriate notifications to the community.

We urge your support!

Respectfully submitted,

GREG COX
Chairman

DIANNE JACOB
Vice Chairwoman