CA Steps Up Sex Offender Monitoring After Dugard Case


California parole officials have issued new rules that increase monitoring of thousands of sex offenders already required to wear global positioning system tracking devices, reports the Los Angeles Times. The move that comes after sharp criticism of high-profile lapses by the department. Parole agents must now track the whereabouts of nearly 5,000 low-level sex offenders through ankle monitors at least four days a month. Previously, no policy mandated how often low-level offenders had to be tracked. An additional 2,000 high-risk sex offenders, who already are supposed to be monitored daily, must be visited by a parole officer at their homes twice a month, up from one monthly visit.

“We’ve never claimed that GPS monitoring is a cure-all — it can’t prevent a crime from happening or tell us what a parolee is doing, ” said Gordon Hinkle of the state corrections department. “But it can tell us where they are.” The changes were prompted by a review of the parole agency in the wake of the Jaycee Lee Dugard case. The review found that parole agents for Phillip Garrido, who has been charged with Dugard’s kidnapping, missed numerous clues over the course of a decade that could have led them to Dugard far sooner. Dugard was 11 when she disappeared in 1991 from outside her home. She was 29 when she was found last year in Garrido’s backyard, where he allegedly confined her to a ramshackle set of buildings and tents.

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