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Thursday, January 29, 2015

More parole agent caseloads exceed limits under new sex offender rules

LA TimesSince two sex offenders were charged with killing four women while under state and federal watch, California has changed how it supervises such parolees, increasing scrutiny of some and relaxing the monitoring of others.

A Times analysis of state data shows that the number of parole agents with caseloads exceeding state limits has increased under the new system, further stretching California's already strained ability to oversee freed sex offenders.

The new regimen, which now ties parolees' supervision to risk-assessmenttools,therapy and their own behavior, "will let us achieve higher levels of public safety," said Douglas Eckenrod, who runs the state's sex offender monitoring program.

He said the program shifts resources from those parolees considered less likely to commit new crimes and toward those deemed a public safety threat. The new system, phased in slowly but fully in place since mid-September, also allows offenders who comply with parole rules to earn less supervision.

"We want them to want to not reoffend," said Eckenrod, an administrator in the California Division of Adult Parole Operations.

All sex offenders must still wear ankle monitors that track their movements, and they must continue to check in with parole agents. But they must now also attend therapy sessions and undergo polygraph testing about their sexual behavior and compliance with treatment. continue reading...

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