Reporting Laura Cole
SAN JOAQUIN COUNTY (CBS13) – A veteran state corrections supervisor says the community is at risk because sex offenders who violate parole are being put right back on the streets.
Susan Kane has worked with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation for 30 years, but she says she’s never seen the crime as bad as it is right now, especially when some sex offenders who violate parole are out on the streets almost immediately.
“We are not doing what we need to do to protect the community,” she said.
Kane tracks sex offenders in the San Joaquin County area. When the state implemented changes to the prison population, most who violate their parole terms end up being housed in county jails. She says that’s the problem.
“We don’t have a deterrent,” she said.
Most of the sex offenders who break the rules in her area end up in the San Joaquin County Jail – but not for long.
According to documents obtained by CBS13, the Department of Corrections found more than 50 sex offenders violated their parole the past two months. Most were out of San Joaquin County Jail within three days. More than a dozen of them violated parole at least twice during that time.
“Oh, it’s absolutely crazy, when I look at a case and we put him in jail eight times in the last month and every time we put him in jail, he gets out the next day,” Kane said.
The sheriff’s department says beds are full at the jail and a judge chooses who’s released from the jail.
“Do we keep the parole violator that may have failed a drug test versus somebody that’s just been arrested for homicide or brutally injuring somebody out on the street with a fresh charge?” sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Les Garcia said of the jail dilemma.
A Department of Corrections official said they’re making some hard choices, but they’re not making apologies.
“The public’s safety is first and foremost for CDCR,” Jeffrey Callison said.
But Susan says it’s not enough. Changes need to be made to ensure public safety, so she’s speaking out, regardless of the consequences.
“Could your job be in jeopardy for speaking out today?” CBS13′s Laure Cole asked Kane.
“I’m sure it could be,” she said.
So why talk?
“Because it’s the right thing to do,” she said.
San Joaquin County is trying to build a new jail, but it still needs approval from the board of supervisors. That’s an $80 million project and the money the county gets from the state for prison reform can’t go to new construction to house those inmates.