Kamala Harris stopped enforcing a widely supported sex offender law during her tenure as California’s attorney general, allowing sex predators to live near children.
In a confidential legal opinion, Harris ordered the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in 2015 to stop enforcing residency restrictions that prohibited sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of parks and schools. In doing so, Harris upended a key provision of Jessica’s Law, an anti-sex offender law that 70 percent of California voters approved in a 2006 statewide referendum.
Harris lifted the residency restriction for sex offenders after a 2015 state supreme court ruling that relaxed the restriction in San Diego due to the area’s high population density. While the ruling applied only to San Diego parolees, Harris stopped enforcing the residency restriction throughout the Golden State, ignoring claims by criminal justice advocates that the residency restrictions could still be enforced in the vast majority of counties. George Runner, one of the sponsors for the ballot initiative for Jessica’s Law, said that Harris’s decision jeopardized the safety of California kids.