CA Officials Discuss Parole Reform In Light of Garrido-Dugard Case


With the Phillip Garrido-Jaycee Lee Dugard fiasco as a backdrop, California legislative and law enforcement leaders agreed to work toward preventing a similar one, reports the Sacramento Bee. State Sen. Ted Gaines, El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson and other officials, in a meeting at the state Capitol, discussed the failures that led to Dugard remaining Garrido’s captive for 18 years and offered ideas on how to improve supervision of sex offenders.

Gaines plans to address a state Supreme Court decision that he and Pierson say has created a spike in the number of inmates serving life sentences who are winning release from parole boards. That decision held that a parole board may not base a decision on whether to release an inmate solely on the circumstances of the crime that sent the inmate to prison. Because of that decision, from 2008 through 2010, 1,329 lifers have been granted parole, Pierson said, compared to 1,821 from 1978 through 2007. Pierson contends that the law needs to be changed to allow parole boards to consider not only psychiatric and other reports on an inmate’s behavior but also the nature of the crime. James Ware, chief judge of the U.S. District Court in San Francisco, said all agencies and states need to improve the manner in which they share information on parolees they are supervising.

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