Tennessee parole officers didn't worry about Jacob Allen Bennett blowing off the terms of his release from prison until four bodies turned up in Renegade Mountain, reports The Tennessean. They didn't revoke the longtime felon's parole when he flunked a drug test in April — his second month out of prison. They let it slide when he didn't pay his court-ordered fees. They didn't even look for him when he went absent in August, a month before he would be hauled in as a suspect in a quadruple homicide. “I asked her to have him contact me to discuss this violation issue,” a parole officer wrote in Bennett's parole file Aug. 22 after speaking to his grandmother.
Parole officers took notice Sept. 12, when four bodies were found near his home. Only then did a parole officer issue an emergency parole violation warrant against Bennett, citing the flunked drug test, unpaid fees and a skipped parole appointment, according to parole records obtained by The Tennessean. Tennessee's supervision of released felons has been under fire for more than a decade. Performance audits have taken the state's probation and parole system to task for inadequate supervision of parolees since at least 2001. Probation officers, now operating under the Tennessee Department of Correction, have warned of inadequate staffing and poor supervision of sex offenders for years. Reports of dead people being “actively supervised” and violent offenders repeatedly violating the terms of their parole have surfaced as well.