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Attorney General Lockyer Issues Statement in Response to Auditor's Megan's Law Report

Wednesday, August 20, 2003
Contact: (415) 703-5837

(SACRAMENTO) – Attorney General Bill Lockyer issued the following statement today in response to the State Auditor's report on California's Megan's Law program:

"The State Auditor's review of the Megan's Law program is a welcome and constructive contribution to our ongoing efforts to protect Californians from sexual predators. The purpose of Megan's Law is to arm the public and law enforcement with information they can use to protect loved ones and communities from the devastating effects of sex crimes. Unfortunately, the system in California and most other states relies on convicted sex offenders who have been released from prison and now live in our communities to voluntarily comply with state law and regularly update their registration data with law enforcement. Fortunately, as the audit reports, most registrants do comply and their whereabouts are accurately reflected in the state database. But there are thousands of sex offenders who don't comply with the registration law. Those offenders deprive law enforcement, and more importantly, California families, of accurate information.

"We can do better, and with the help of the Legislature and local law enforcement agencies, we will. My office already has implemented several reforms to improve the accuracy of information about sex offenders and to assist local law enforcement officers in keeping tabs on sex offenders in their communities. Some good ideas have been suggested by the Auditor. While they provide improvements, none offers a complete solution to the problem of sex offenders who fail to register. The only effective way to solve the problem is to create and fund more law enforcement teams to find all sex offenders who fail to comply with state registration laws. I look forward to working with state and local law enforcement agencies as well as the legislature to identify, track down and register all of California's serious and high-risk sex offenders.

"For now, the most important action the Legislature can take is to renew authorization for the Megan's Law database, which will otherwise expire at the end of this year. I call on the Legislature to pass AB 1314 (Parra) and allow us to continue to build the best Megan's Law database in the nation. "

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