Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law three bills authored by State Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Santa Monica) over the weekend, all of which will take effect Jan. 1, 2014.
Senate Bill 57 establishes severe penalties for registered sex offenders who remove or disable monitoring devices assigned to them as a condition of parole. If convicted of disarming their devices, first-time offenders face 180 days of parole revocation in county jail.
“When sex offenders know that there are little or no repercussions for cutting off their GPS monitoring devices, it’s time to strengthen the deterrent,” Lieu wrote in a press release. “Real deterrents for sex offenders drastically reduce the likelihood they will commit another crime. SB 57 now gives these sex offenders second thoughts about roaming free while on parole.”
The bill comes after more than 4,150 California sex offenders disabled their GPS monitors in 2012, according to statistics provided by Lieu’s office.
“These are shockingly high numbers of people cutting off their bracelets. If we don’t fix this problem, the integrity of our GPS monitoring system for sex offenders is at risk,” Lieu said.
A second Lieu bill, SB 569, aims to protect juveniles from the consequences of falsely confessing to murders. The bill requires law enforcement agencies to record the entirety of all interrogations involving children under the age of 18 who are being held on suspicion of murder.
Juveniles, scared and intimidated by questioning, are often coerced into admitting to crimes they didn’t commit, according to SB 569. The bill will hold law enforcement agents accountable for their interrogation techniques, though in various scenarios — such as in the case of equipment malfunction or if it is believed the recording will jeopardize the safety of involved parties — officials may refrain from videotaping.
Additionally, Gov. Brown signed off on Lieu’s SB 377, which will expedite the decision-making process in determining whether a state project is to be considered a “public work” project. Such projects include construction, alteration, demolition, installation or repair work done under contract that is paid for using public funds.