California sex offenders removing monitors
February 25, 2013
Thousands of California parolees including child molesters, rapists and other high-risk sex offenders are removing or disarming their court-ordered GPS tracking devices — with little risk of going back to prison because of overcrowding. [LATimes]
Since 2010 when the state began referring parole violators to county jails instead of returning them to its packed prisons, more than 3,400 arrest warrants for GPS tamperers have been issued. Nearly all of the warrants were for sex offenders, who are the vast majority of convicts with monitors.
Jerry Brown and the legislature’s “realignment” program was put in place to reduce overcrowding in state prisons.
Before prison realignment took effect, sex offenders who breached parole remained behind bars, awaiting hearings that could send them back to prison for up to a year. Since realignment, the maximum penalty is 180 days in jail with many never serving that time.
Some counties have freed parole violators within days, or even hours, of arrest rather than keep them in custody.
With so little deterrent, parolees “certainly are feeling more bold,” said Jack Wallace, an executive at the California Sex Offender Management Board, to the LA Times.
Lawmakers also acknowledge there’s a problem.
Several bills are in the works including one by state Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance) that would require parolees who tamper with their GPS devices to be sent back to prison for up to three years.