Major flaws in California’s program for placing thousands of sex offenders into neighborhoods have put citizens and parolees at risk, said a state audit issued yesterday. The Sacramento Bee reports that serious problems were found in locating proper housing for offenders, supervising them, ensuring they receive proper care, auditing programs, and controlling costs.
Among the concerns: Some developmentally disabled sex offenders have been illegally placed in community care facilities within one mile of an elementary school. Failure to conduct required background checks could result in some offenders placed in homes employing people with criminal records. Millions are spent supervising and treating the most heinous sex offenders, but the success of such programs is difficult to gauge because the offenders aren’t tracked once they leave state supervision. State law does not allow the attorney general’s office to provide criminal histories of many clients. The lack of background information could result in sex offenders unknowingly – but illegally – being placed near schools or child-care centers, or in federally subsidized housing, the report said.