Parole System needs to do better job of monitoring Sex Offenders

Eleven bodies were found at registered sex offender Anthony Sowell’s home in Cleveland, Ohio.  And this is making more and more people wonderhow they could have gotten there without anyone even knowing. Now that Anthony Sowell has been arrested and charged with mutiple murders, the question is, why weren’t the police and parole officers aware of what was going on? If it turns out that Sowell is responsible for the deaths of the people whose bodies have been found at his home, it could be because he was able to exploit a broken parole and sex offender registry system.

Phillip Garrido who was accussed recently of abducting Jaycee Dugard and fathered two girls by her was also a registered sex offender. He kept them hidden for 18 years in his backyard. In the 1970s, Garrido kidnapped Katie Callaway Hall, drove her to a shed in Nevada and raped her for hours. He served 11 years in prison for the attack before being released on parole. He was forced to register as a sex offender after being convicted of the rape.It is believed that Garrido had five or six different state parole officers assigned by the California Department of Corrections over the 18 years he imprisoned Dugard in his backyard. According to California authorities the parole system did a horrible job of monitoring Garrido.

Are parole officers missing opportunities to accurately monitor sex offenders or are they failing to report compliance issues to avoid further investigation? Training and accountability of parole officers in monitoring sex offenders seems to be an issue that needs to be addressed. Law enforcement agencies must be asking themselves some real tough questions regarding monitoring and supervising sex offenders.

Recidivism among sex offenders is high according to the US Justice Department. They are four times likely to repeat their behavior than a criminal convicted of burglary, assault or murder. There are more than 500,000 sex ofenders nationwide.

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