Tennessee's Board of Probation and Parole reported in the past year that dozens of dead offenders were alive and being monitored, says a state comptroller’s study reported by The Tennessean. The state-funded office, which at the time of the audit had an $86 million budget, claimed that at least 82 dead people on probation or parole were still alive, a mistake the comptroller attributed to “inadequate supervision.” “It's obviously a problem,” said Sen. Brian Kelsey of the Judiciary Committee. “With that many dead people supposedly being supervised, it makes you wonder how many live people were also not being supervised.”
A criminal who died in October 2011 was reported to be “bedridden at home.” In another case, an officer documented contacting a parolee who, the comptroller's office learned, had been dead for 19 years. “If parole officers are supervising dead people, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars and makes us wonder about the supervision of parolees living in our communities,” said Comptroller Justin Wilson. The probation-parole board, which keeps track of about 60,000 offenders, has long faced heavy caseloads and contended with high employee turnover. It has been widely reported that the agency's resources have been stretched so thin that its ability to monitor some of the state's most dangerous criminals has been compromised.