TN Probation Officers Unable To Watch Some Dangerous Sex Offenders


A month after a violent Tennessee sex offender was found living in a home where someone operated a day care, another offender had moved into a hotel and was left alone to baby-sit a 6-month-old girl. She was rushed to the hospital that day with no pulse, a bloody nose, and a possible skull fracture, The Tennessean reports. She died the next day. Both sex offenders were under the supervision of the Tennessee Board of Probation and Parole, where officers have faced years of crushing caseloads, a revolving door of employees and an increasing inability to supervise properly some of the state's most dangerous criminals.

Even the agency's leadership acknowledges that inadequate resources may have compromised their ability to oversee some of the state's most dangerous sex offenders. Adding to their woes is a new program this year that will allow roughly 2,000 prison inmates to be released early over the next 12 months. “Unlike some agencies that cause a great inconvenience to people if they're not doing their job adequately, this is a public safety issue,” said state Sen. Tim Barnes. “That's one of the paramount responsibilities of government, to keep people safe. And I'm not so sure we're doing it based on what I'm hearing.” At least two offenders under supervision have been charged with murder in Davidson County in the past year. Probation officers have warned of inadequate staffing and inexperienced supervision of sex offenders since at least 2008.

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