Data Supports Need For Crackdown on Parolees According to Sen. Lieu
2013-02-12 · By Editor
New data shows record increases in the number of convicted sex offenders, gang members and other parolees who illegally cut off their ankle-mounted monitoring bracelets, bill author Sen. Ted W. Lieu of Torrance announced today.
Release of the new data coincides with release of Senate Bill 57’s bill language, which makes it a felony to remove a GPS-ankle bracelet.
“The most recent numbers on parolees who cut off their monitoring bracelets show the problem is getting much worse,” Lieu said in explaining the need for SB 57. “By making this crime a new felony under threat of returning dangerous parolees to prison, we send the message that parolees can no longer cut off their ankle bracelets with little or no consequence. It also tells their victims there will be fewer predators running around unmonitored.”
Buttressing the need for stiffer penalties is the following new information provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation in response to a data request by Senator Lieu:
Pre-realignment, during the 15-month period from July 2010 through September 2011, a total of 221 parolees tampered or cut off their GPS monitors. After realignment, during the 15-month period from October 2011 through the end of 2012, a total of 482 parolees tampered or cut their GPS bracelets.
“An analysis between these periods shows that tampered or cut ankle monitors by parolees – including both high-risk sex offenders and high-risk gang members – has increased by more than 118 percent,” Lieu said. Previous data for only a 12-month period showed the increase to be over 60 percent.
“The new data also shows the number of parolees who tampered with or cut off their ankle bracelets has skyrocketed in recent months,” Lieu said. The last two months for which data was available, November to December 2012, set a record for the number of parolees who cut off or tampered with their bracelets: 147. For comparison purposes, from November to December 2010, which was pre-realignment, the number of parolees who cut off or tampered with their bracelets was 15. This is a statistical increase of 880 percent.
Sen. Michael Rubio of Shafter, joint author of SB 57, said the measure is necessary in part because the issue impacts the Central Valley. “When high-risk sex offenders are tampering with or cutting off their GPS bracelets at such an alarming rate–including up to almost 900-percent in some cases–we must act swiftly and stiffen the penalties for these criminals that endanger our communities,” Rubio said. “SB 57 is a critical next step in holding these offenders accountable. First-hand knowledge from law enforcement, as well as growing data, is clearly telling us that we must act now.”
Law enforcement also supports SB 57. For example, Sheriff Keith Royal, president of the California State Sheriffs’ Association, said GPS supervision is not only an important tool used to monitor the highest-risk offenders, it has also been shown to reduce recidivism.
“However, without the threat of state prison, offenders have started to cut off GPS bracelets at an alarming rate,” Royal said. “SB 57 is a crucial measure that will ensure these offenders are properly supervised.”
“No law is perfect and realignment, which has largely been successful, has created unintended consequences in the area of GPS monitoring,” Lieu said, adding that cutting off an ankle bracelet is now only a parole violation that can incur up to180 days in county jail, but often is shortened because of crowding. Some counties were not even booking parole violators at all. “SB 57 is necessary to ensure realignment works as it was intended,” Lieu said.
An initial policy hearing on SB 57 has not yet been set.
For more, including links to language of SB 57 and more on CDCR’s data, go to the address below.
Ted W. Lieu represents nearly 1.3 million residents of Senate District 28, which includes the cities of Carson, El Segundo, Hermosa Beach, Lomita, Manhattan Beach, Redondo Beach and Torrance, as well as portions of Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Pedro. With redistricting, Lieu also is responsible for constituents in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Pacific Palisades, Palos Verdes Peninsula, West Hollywood, West Los Angeles, and portions of Hollywood. For more, visit www.senate.ca.gov/lieu.