The Los Angeles Times reports that California parole agent workloads have not improved in the five years since the revelation that a convicted sex offender had held a kidnapped girl in his Antioch, Calif., home for 18 years. After the victim, Jaycee Dugard, was freed, it became clear that authorities had missed multiple opportunities to rescue her. A California state investigation placed that blame partly on the heavy workloads of the parole agents who were supposed to keep track of the kidnapper, a registered sex offender. And a blue-ribbon panel recommended that the number of cases agents supervise be cut dramatically.
Yet interviews and records show that agents in California continue to watch over twice as many offenders as the task force deemed was safe — and many of their caseloads exceed the state’s own limits. The task force called for agents to supervise no more than 20 sex offenders at a time. According to parole agents and labor representatives, it is common for officers to work with as many as 40 parolees at a time, and that caseloads have grown as high as 50.