Can a Person Subject to Penal Code section 290 “Sex Offender Registration” Enter a Park in California?

A person convicted of an offense requiring “Sex Offender Registration” pursuant to Penal Code section 290 and the “Sex Offender Registration Act” is subject to many restrictions for the remainder of his of her life - including the requirement to register as a sex offender; restrictions on entry upon school grounds, daycare facilities, and residential facilities for the elderly; and, in certain cases, GPS monitoring for life. Many people subject to Penal Code section 290 are unaware of the multitude of restrictions that have been placed upon them, including whether they are permitted to enter parks where children regularly gather. Fortunately, there is a specific statute within the California Penal Code that addresses the exact issue of when an offender subject to Penal Code section 290 may enter a park.

According to Penal Code section 3053.8, when a person is released on parole after having served a term of imprisonment for any of the enumerated offenses listed below in which one or more of the victims was under 14 years of age, and for which registration is required pursuant to the “Sex Offender Registration Act,” it is a condition of parole that the person may not, during his or her period of parole, enter any park where children regularly gather. However, according to this Section, an offender subject to this restriction may be permitted to enter a park if they obtain the express permission of his or her parole agent.

  • Penal Code § 261
  • Penal Code § 262
  • Penal Code § 264.1
  • Penal Code § 269
  • Penal Code § 286
  • Penal Code § 287
  • Penal Code § 288.5
  • Penal Code § 288.7
  • Penal Code § 289
  • Penal Code § 288(b)(1)
  • Penal Code § 667.51(c)
  • Penal Code § 667.61(j), (k), (l)
  • Penal Code § 667.71
  • Former Penal Code § 288a

Thus, if a person is required to register per Penal Code section 290 for an offense listed above involving victims over the age of 14, they will not encounter any restrictions when entering a park.

Many cities and counties have attempted to enact local ordinances placing further restrictions on a sex offenders’ ability to enter parks. For example, the City of Irvine enacted a local ordinance that prohibited sex offenders from entering city parks and recreational facilities without the written permission of the city’s police chief. However, in People v. Nguyen (2014) 222 Cal. App. 4th 1168, it was determined that the state statutory scheme imposing restrictions on sex offender’s daily life fully occupies the field and therefore preempts a local government’s efforts to restrict offenders further, such as the City of Irvine park ordinance. 

If you need assistance with determining what restrictions are placed on Penal Code section 290 offenders or you have any questions, please our office at 626-577-7700.


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