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Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Pedophiles Run Free in California Because Jails and Prisons Are Full

     There is a lot to dislike about California. The state is broke, taxes are too high, politicians live like kings and queens, and the public school system is one of the worst in the country. California is home to so many street gangsters, drug dealers, carjackers, drug abusers, wife beaters, rapists, burglars, and armed robbers, there is not enough room in its jails and prisons for the vast number of pedophiles who live and offend in the state. California is not a good place to raise children who are not from upper-middle-class or rich families. (That doesn't mean that the children of Hollywood celebrities are doing that well.)

     In 2006, citizens of the Golden state, aware that they were living in the pedophilia capital of America, got behind a law that required all "high-risk sex offenders" (pedophiles) who had served their time or had been released early on parole, to be tracked for life with GPS monitors. These fiber-optic cables that transmit signals to private contract monitoring centers, are attached to sex offenders' ankles with rubber straps. Whenever a GPS-monitored pedophile enters a forbidden area such as a school zone or a playground, the ankle device is activated. Monitoring personnel, upon receiving an alarm signal, alert the appropriate parole authority through text message or email. The ankle device will also go off if tampered with or removed. (While I don't object to tracking convicted child molesters the way zoologists monitor chip-embedded animals, the ideal solution would be to lock these perverts up for life.)

     GPS monitored pedophiles and other sex offenders out on parole who were arrested for violating the terms of their conditional releases, used to sit in jail for months awaiting their parole revocation hearings. If found guilty of breaking the terms of their parole, judges sent these violators back to prison for up to a year. The system, designed to deter sexual deviates from reoffending, didn't work because there were so many of them they, along with all of the other criminals in California, overwhelmed the state's prisons and jails. 

     In 2011, justices on the California Supreme Court ordered state correctional bureaucrats to significantly reduce prison overcrowding. (Instead of this ruling, the judges should have issued a warning to criminals that said: if you don't like living with three or four other inmates in a cell, go straight.) Many judges on the county level issued similar mandates to reduce local jail populations. In October of 2011, Governor Jerry Brown and the state legislature, to carry out the judicial decree, initiated the so-called "realignment program". Pursuant to this new corrections policy, prison inmates across the state were released on parole early. If those being shown the door prematurely were pedophiles and other high-risk sex offenders, they were fitted with the GPS tracking devices. 

     Under the realignment program, sex offenders who were incarcerated to await their parole hearings, could not be held in jail for more than 180 days. Following the implementation of the new policy, many jails simply refused to take sex offenders arrested for breaking parole. Most parole violators were released from custody within hours of their parole violation arrests.

     As a result of California's realignment program, tens of thousands of paroled, GPS-monitored pedophiles were serving their sentences out of the jail and prison system. Because these offenders knew they could break parole and not be incarcerated because jailers and prison wardens didn't want them, parolees started removing their GPS ankle devices. Alarms went off, parole violation warrants were issued (3,400 since October 2011), but no one was put back behind bars. (In California, if you're a pedophile, it's easier getting into college than jail.) While California's jails and prisons are no longer crowded, pedophiles and sex offenders who have shed their tracking devices are re-offending.

     Government, almost by definition, is dysfunctional. But criminal justice dysfunction that comes to the aid of child molesters and rapists is unforgivable. At some point in California's corrections field, inmate comfort trumped the welfare of children. It's just amazing what parents in that state put up with.

     

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