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Garrido Among Many Sex Offenders In Calif. Town

Publication Date: 
September 03, 2009
St. Petersburg Times - AP
Evelyn Nieves and Sudhin Thanawala

Professor Joan Petersilia, co-director of the Stanford Criminal Justice Center, comments on attractive locations for registered sex offenders:

At least three other registered sex offenders live within a block or two of the Northern California home where Phillip Garrido allegedly imprisoned Jaycee Lee Dugard for nearly two decades.

More than 100 sex offenders in all share his ZIP code in the hardscrabble, working-class neighborhood on the outskirts of this town about 40 miles northeast of San Francisco.

The kidnapping case has put a spotlight on the concentration of sex offenders and heightened concerns that laws to control some of the nation's roughly 686,000 registered sex offenders are pushing them to smaller communities such as Antioch.


Criminal justice experts say relatively isolated communities with low housing prices tend to attract sex offenders who are living on thin budgets and looking to keep a low profile.

"They want to operate under the radar, so that's another reason they move out there," said Joan Petersilia, co-director of Stanford University's Criminal Justice Center.

Smaller, less dense communities also tend to have more sex offenders because it's easier for them to comply with laws in many states that prohibit sex offenders from getting too close to schools, parks and other places where children gather.