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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Parole System Failure Despite Visits by Parole To Their Homes

The stories of Anthony Sowell (multiple bodies found in his home) and Phillip Garrido (kidnap victim living in his home since 1990s) have touched on the issue of monitoring registered sex offenders. Regular visits by parole to their homes did not lead to any discoveries that things were wrong. Garrido's officers would conduct searches of his home on surprise visits. In Ohio, Sowell's terms were to check in with parole and agents would show up to his residence to confirm he was still there but his terms did not include routine searches of his house. Questions now arise as to why all went unnoticed to officials in each case. There was an investigation into Garrido's parole officers in order to determine if agents missed signs of irregularities and whether incorrect training was also an issue. Whether these cases will motivate a reform effort on how sex offenders are monitored after incarceration is yet to be seen. Conducting a more in depth monitoring of sex offenders would require more time and man power and that of course means more money then states at this point might not have. If it is determined agents need to be retrained or the monitoring system updated with new rules to implemented, the next issue becomes getting the funds necessary to make the changes in an already cash strapped system.

Here Harry Smith of CBS News reports on this issue:

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