Bill to Reform the Sex Offender Registry Signed by Governor Brown

Senate Bill 384, the bill to reform the sex offender registry, authored by Senator Scott Wiener and co-sponsored by Alameda County District Attorney Nancy E. O’Malley and Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey has just been signed by Governor Jerry Brown. This bill amends the current law that requires all sex offenders to register for life and replaces it with a tiered system of registry. A diverse coalition came together to support this bill, including law enforcement but also Equality California, ACLU, and CALCASA.

“SB 384 fixes an antiquated, ineffective, 70-year old system and provides the essential safeguards for public safety,” said Alameda County District Attorney Nancy O’Malley.

“This bill proposes a balanced and measured reform of this system, allowing prosecutors and law enforcement to focus their resources on tracking sex offenders who pose a real risk to public safety. I thank the Governor for signing this important piece of legislation, and am grateful to Senator Wiener and all of those who worked so hard to bring about these vital changes in the law," said DA O'Malley.

“California law and police practices that targeted LGBTQ people with entrapment and discrimination have changed for the better,” said Rick Zbur, executive director of Equality California.

“But thousands of LGBTQ people still find themselves on California’s sex offender registry for behavior that harmed no one, was motivated by discriminatory police enforcement practices and that would not be prosecuted today. Gov. Brown’s signature will restore livelihoods and help restore the registry as a tool for investigating those who pose a real danger to society.”

Currently, all sex offenders are required to register for life under the Sex Offender Registration Act, regardless of the seriousness of the offense. As a result, California has over 100,000 registrants and that number continues to grow. SB 384 creates a tiered registry that is based on a person’s individual record and risk of reoffending that would allow law enforcement to concentrate their effort and resources on making sure high-risk and violent offenders comply with the law.

SB 384 will divide the registrants into three tiers based on the seriousness of the underlying offense, criminal history, and risk of reoffending. Tier One would require the offender to register for 10 years; Tier Two would require registration for 20 years; and Tier Three would still require lifetime registration. This bill provides a more tailored approach to monitoring and assessing registrants and also allows law enforcement to focus their efforts on high risk offenders.

Supporters of the SB 384 included:
A New Way of Life Re-Entry Project, Alameda County Board of Supervisors, Alliance for Community Transformations, Alliance for Constitutional Sex Offense Laws, American Civil Liberties Union of California, California Civil Liberties Advocacy, California Coalition on Sexual Offending, California Coalition Welfare Rights Organizations, California District Attorneys Association, California Police Chiefs Association, California Public Defenders Association, California State Association of Counties, Coalition of California Welfare Rights Organizations, Courage Campaign, Criminal Justice Clinic of UC Irvine School of Law, East Bay Community Law Center, Friends Committee on Legislation of California, Housing and Economic Rights Advocates, Immigrant Legal Resource Center , Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights of the San Francisco Bay Area, League of California Cities, Legal Services for Prisoners with Children, Legal Services of Northern California, Life Support Alliance, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, National Employment Law Project, National Housing Law Project , R Street Institute, Reentry Council of the City and County of San Francisco, Returning Home Foundation, Root and Rebound,
Rubicon Programs, Santa Cruz County Public Defender’s Office, Sure Helpline Crisis Center, Transgender Gender-Variant Intersex Justice Project, Voices for Progress Education Fund, YWCA Greater Los Angeles.


Posted on Oct 6, 2017