Friday, May 12, 2006

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Announces State-of-the Art Partnership with the Antelope Valley Community to Monitor High-Risk Sex Offender Parolees

(Palmdale) - Today the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) announced a groundbreaking partnership with the community of Antelope Valley and the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to implement a statewide Global Positioning System program to track the movements of high-risk sex offenders.

Antelope Valley is the first region in Los Angeles County to receive this innovative technology.

"The most important mission of CDCR is to promote and enhance public safety. We are proud that by means of this GPS program, our Adult Parole Division is in the forefront of public safety enhancement," said Jim Tilton, acting secretary of CDCR.

"Using GPS on high-risk sex offenders is a critical part of the agreement we made with CDCR to make our community safer. This innovative technology will assist our local law enforcement agencies in making the Antelope Valley safer from predators," said Assemblywoman Sharon Runner (R-Antelope Valley).

As of today, multiple law enforcement agencies serving the Antelope Valley region will be able to access CDCR data and also share its data with CDCR parole agents.

"By the end of this month, more than 40 high-risk sex offenders in the Antelope Valley region will be issued the GPS electronic bracelets that will make it easier for law enforcement officers and parole agents to track their whereabouts and determine their location at the time of a crime," Tilton said.

"With the GPS program, our Adult Parole Division is in the forefront of public safety and can provide the assistance so necessary to local law enforcement," Tilton added.

"As more and more GPS partnerships roll out throughout California, it means that it will be that much harder for criminals to prey on the innocent," said Senator George Runner (R-Antelope Valley).

"GPS technology is proving to be an effective evidence-based law enforcement tool in assisting parole agents and law enforcement officers in their mission to increase public safety, and monitor the movement of sex offenders, said Marty O'Neal, Regional Parole Administrator.

GPS uses satellite technology to track each parolee's position and movement around the clock and every day of his parole term. In this application, it is coupled with an automated link from local law enforcement agencies that will either place a monitored offender at the scene of the crime or eliminate that offender from the scene of the crime.

To date more than 417 GPS monitors statewide have been outfitted on sex offenders, and 17 GPS devices on known gang members. Of that number some 45 monitored sex offenders and 9 gang members have been arrested for violating the terms of their parole - through evidence gathered via the GPS tracking.

A total of 95 sex offenders statewide have been taken into custody for parole violation charges. Of that number, specifically 45 parolees were charged with parole violations specifically having to do with a special condition of parole related to their sexual offense.