San Diego County probation staff failed to provide additional tracking of high-risk sex offenders and more help for crime victims as required under a $258,590 federal stimulus grant, says an audit reported by the San Diego Union-Tribune. Auditors said probation officials spent money on staff training when the grant mandated it should be spent on housing, child care, transportation, and counseling services for crime victims. The county also failed to monitor adequately or document the whereabouts of high-risk sex offenders equipped with satellite-tracking ankle bracelets.
Chief Probation Officer Mack Jenkins said he agreed with the audit findings and is working to resolve them. Last year's federal stimulus bill included $139 million for help combating violence against women. California received $13.2 million of those funds, which were awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. Laura Chick, the state inspector general overseeing federal stimulus dollars spent in California, said, “This is likely the tip of the iceberg. These dollars are part of a much bigger, long-term effort and if the money isn't being spent effectively, the end result is we're not making progress in helping victims of sexual assault.”