Tuesday, February 25, 2020

NY Lost Track of 3,275 Parolees, Including Sex Offenders

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One of the tropes propagated by weak-on-crime politicians is: “Why spend so much money on incarceration when we can just monitor convicts through community supervision?” Well, like anything important or dangerous you want confined, the minute criminals are not under lock and key, it’s not exactly easy to keep track of them. Because of this and reluctance to re-incarcerate those who violate parole, many dangerous parolees are now absconding.
According to a new CBS6 investigation of New York’s parole roster, the NY Department of Corrections and Community Supervision (DCCS) lost track of 3,275 parolees, roughly ten percent of all those in community supervision programs. These are individuals who are supposed to be finishing their sentences under home confinement but have not communicated with their parole officers and remain unaccounted for.
The local CBS affiliate discovered through the state’s Freedom of Information Law that “95 of the missing parolees were sex offenders and 50 were considered violent sex offenders.” However, requests for information on more than 3,000 other absconders have not been returned, and the DCCS has not been cooperating with CBS6’s request for more answers.
This revelation comes amid the crisis from New York’s policy of releasing without bail almost every criminal arrested. It has caused a spike in crime, as criminals fear no immediate consequence of committing crimes or of absconding from their court hearings. This report demonstrates that the increased leniencies on the back end of the justice system – converting more prison time into parole – are also sending the message to criminals that the state fears driving up incarceration numbers more than it does absconders from community supervision.
According to Wayne Spence, a parole officer and president of the New York State Public Employees Federation, quoted in the CBS6 expose, a big part of the problem with parole is that the number of officers has not kept up with the number of people being released into the system. According to Spence, each officer should be monitoring no more than 20 high-risk parolees, but because of budget cuts, the ratio is closer to 60 to 1.
Read the rest of the story HERE.

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