Budget cuts push sex offenders out of motels

July 31, 2009 6:59:57 PM PDT
State budget cuts are changing a controversial housing policy for paroled sex offenders. California corrections officials tell ABC7 News they will no longer place many sex offenders in motels while they look for permanent housing. However, there are still concerns about public safety.

MOST POPULAR: Video, stories and more
SIGN-UP: Get breaking news sent to you

State corrections officials want 35 sex offender parolees living at the Inns of California motel in Salinas to move by the end of August.

"Some are living with families, some are going to different locations," said Wes Ellison with the California Department of Corrections.

This motel is one of many throughout California which have contracts with the state to house paroled sex offenders until they can find other places to stay.

ABC7 reported in May after receiving complaints from neighbors, that eight parolees lived at the Travelodge motel in South San Francisco. Some of them lived at the Travelodge for half a year or more.

Weeks after our story aired, the corrections department issued a memo to its field offices, tightening the motel housing policy for sex offender parolees. Parole agents were told that the state will now only pay a maximum of 60 days motel rent, but only on a case by case basis.

"Only the most needy, only the most deserving folks would get that help," said Randy Krings with the California Department of Corrections.

When those 60 days are over, the criteria for continued rent subsidies gets even tougher.

Parole officials told ABC7 Friday that only one of the eight sex offenders still lives at the Travelodge.

Finding a place to live is often difficult for sex offenders. Jessica's Law prevents them from living within 2,000 feet of a park or school.

In May, we interviewed a sex offender named "Ted" who wanted to remain anonymous. Ted says he lives on general assistance of $58 a month. He says if it wasn't for the Travelodge, he's be homeless.

"It's outrageous. I can't afford it," said Ted regarding rent costs in the area.

Like other sex offenders, Ted wears an electronic monitoring device.

Parole officials say public safety will not be compromised because they are able to track the parolees 24/7.

       Today's latest headlines | ABC7 News on your phone
Follow us on Twitter | Fan us on Facebook | Get our free widget


Load Comments