Ok, election season is coming and as a citizen of Los Angeles, and of California I thought going over the initiatives, state and local, is pretty relevant and may help spur others to get off their bum and VOTE. Like other people who vote, the ones that don’t vote really shouldn’t be allowed to be citizens. I don’t mean this in any Orwellian kind of way, but the right to vote is why were here. It’s the reason we have 100,000 soldiers in Iraq and why we can write and publish stuff like this.
Biographicially, I am a white male, employed, married, with 2 children, and intelligent (or at least like to think so). Does what I think matter? Probably not, but I am a voter and I care...and so should you.
Some of the initiatives and proposition descriptions come from, in part, the Los Angeles Times, Sunday edition on October 15, 2006.
I’m sure all 3 people who read this will take the time, but I really hope this reaches other voters. So, without further adieu, I present to you, the California Initiatives for 2006.
SEX OFFENDERS. SEXUALLY VIOLENT PREDATORS. PUNISHMENT, RESIDENCE RESTRICTIONS AND MONITORING. INITIATIVE STATUTE.
- Increases penalties for violent and habitual sex offenders and child molesters.
- Prohibits registered sex offenders from residing within 2,000 feet of any school or park.
- Requires lifetime Global Positioning System monitoring of felony registered sex offenders.
- Expands definition of a sexually violent predator.
- Changes current two-year involuntary civil commitment for a sexually violent predator to an indeterminate commitment, subject to annual review by the Director of Mental Health and subsequent ability of sexually violent predator to petition court for sexually violent predator’s conditional release or unconditional discharge.
Summary of Legislative Analyst’s Estimate of Net State and Local Government Fiscal Impact:
- Net state prison, parole, and mental health program costs of several tens of millions of dollars initially, growing to a couple hundred million dollars annually within ten years.
- Potential one-time state mental hospital and prison capital outlay costs eventually reaching several hundred million dollars.
Net state and local costs for court and jail operations are unknown.
The pro’s on this one say that it will keep sex offenders from living near schools and parks, which would protect children. Because we (the non-offender good guys) will know where the offenders are (the bad guys) because “the bad guys” would need to wear electronic ankle bracelets to tell us where they are.
The con’s say only a small number of offenders attack strangers which doesn’t reduce the risk to the crime of opportunity or family predators. And by restricting where the offenders live will push them out into rural areas where law enforcement is less able to deal with them.
I’m torn on this issue. I despise sex offenders just like the next parent, but at the same time wonder if we can continue to punitively punish someone once they have served the required prison time for the crime? I’ve also looked at the Megan’s Law site to see who lives nearby and found I had a “former” pedophile living 2 blocks away from me. It was a hard to suppress anxiety and anger but I had to temper that with knowing they served their time and had been “rehabilitated” through our prison system. That was a joke; I really don’t feel our prison system does anything to rehabilitate anyone.
In the end, I am for this initiative, but concerned about the exile of these offenders. Sooner or later, with no where to go, we may will end up with tiny communities of offenders in places where they can live a quarter mile away from a schools or parks, and then what? What about those cities we are pushing them into? My guess is that it will push them into lower economic cities, putting them in contact with more criminals, adding to the civic diversity. Maybe it will make them build more parks?
As I said, this one is doing something. I just wish the initiative had something in it with some funding to help lower recidivism in the ones who could be treated.
My vote is Yes on 83