Though police believe intensive supervision is the best way to prevent repeat crimes by sex offenders, Washington state corrections officials have increased caseloads for Seattle community corrections officers who oversee the state’s largest concentration of high-risk rapists and child molesters, says the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. Daily, these officers visit recently released sex offenders at their homes and workplaces, sometimes spending more than an hour with each, comparing notes with police and generally monitoring the felons’ every move.
Now, they worry, supervision will be cursory, at best. “In today’s world, that’s a pretty scary proposition,” said Ton Johnson, president of the officers’ union. “The point was to have 25 of these offenders and supervise the heck out of them,” said Iris Peterson, a community corrections officer. A typical caseload of 20 could increase by 50 percent, to 30 offenders. Seattle Police Detective Bob Shilling, who works in the department’s sex crimes and kidnapping unit, said the caseload increase could have “serious ramifications for public safety.” The Washington State Institute for Public Policy said research results are split equally between supervision programs that prevented new sex crimes and oversight that had no measurable effect.