Tuesday, August 31, 2010

CPAT Finds More Than 2,500 Parolees-At-Large in less than 8 Months

CDCR Parole Reforms Lead to Lowest Number of Parolees-At-Large in 15 years

(Sacramento, CA) – The California Parole Apprehension Team (CPAT) - created as part of the Governor’s parole reforms - in less than 8 months has arrested or located 2,598 parolees-at-large, a record for the fastest and largest reduction of fleeing offenders in state history.

The number of parolees who have absconded parole supervision and are currently at large in California has decreased from 15,927 when CPAT units were formed in January, 2010 to 13,329 by mid-August.

The current number of 13,329 active parolees-at-large (PALs) is also the lowest in at least 15 years. By comparison, the highest number of PALs in California occurred in 2003 when there were 19,954.

The establishment of CPAT is part of the recent parole reforms by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that directs more intense focus on those individuals that pose the most risk to public safety.

“This is a significant and ongoing victory for public safety,” said CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations Director Robert Ambroselli, who oversees the unit. “Dedicated parole agents and staff work tirelessly every day to protect Californians. Parole reforms have allowed us to focus on the most serious offenders who are highest risk for potentially harming someone in the public.”

The new apprehension team was created in part through a reallocation of resources made possible by recent parole reforms. CPAT team members have received extensive training in fugitive apprehension, database searches, social networking, field tactics and firearms training at CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety Academy. CDCR has equipped CPAT with computer technology to help seek and find high-risk PALs, including locating deceased PALs or those taken into custody in other states. CPAT teams consist of a Regional Intelligence (Intel) Unit located in each of four regional offices and multiple field apprehension teams spread throughout the regions.

For examples of parolees captured and for the history of the Division of Adult Parole Operations efforts to capture parolees-at-large, visit the department’s web site at http://www.cdcr.ca.gov/.

Also, please see attached fact sheets on recent arrests, history and statistics.

Recent Arrests

Of the 2,598 parolees-at-large captures, 90 were sex offenders, and approximately 75 percent were classified as High Control. Some examples of PALs recently apprehended for non-compliance include:

Orlando Zamudiomolina, who was re-arrested in an incident involving four other suspected criminal gang-members, large quantities of methamphetamine, and the confiscation of a loaded M 16 Assault Rifle. When Redwood City Police requested assistance weeding out several known and heavily-armed gang members at an apartment complex, in July 2010, CPAT teamed up with the San Mateo County Gang Task Force (GTF). The Redwood City Police Street Crimes Team tipped off CPAT and GTF to an armed gang den. The joint forces created a perimeter and went in. Officers used tasers and pepper-spray in the struggle that ensued. Zamudiomolina, a convicted car thief, had served time in 2009. When parolee Zamudiomolina was stopped by CPAT, GTF and Redwood police, on July 22, 2010, he had a large quantity of methamphetamine in his pants pockets. CPAT also found a loaded M-16 assault rifle underneath a car where Zamudiomolina and the other suspects had been standing. The M-16 was loaded with a full 30 round magazine and one round already in the chamber. A handgun and several more bundles of meth were also found in the search of the suspects and their location.

Viet Qouc Huynh Mai, is a known member of a notorious San Jose street gang. He was originally incarcerated in 2002 for two counts of Assault with a Semi Automatic Rifle. CPAT wanted Mai for questioning in the gang-related shooting homicide of a woman - possibly committed by one of his associates and in which Mai may have been involved. CPAT tracked him down, arrested him on July 15, 2010 and found a pound and a half of marijuana, pay-owe sheets, packaging material, a knife and a concealable gun holster in the room of his mother’s house where he had been staying.

CPAT History & Statistics

Attention to the issue of parolees-at-large in California heightened in 1995 when Deputy Frank Vasquez Trejo was shot and killed by a parolee with an extensive criminal history and member of an infamous prison gang. The uproar surrounding the death of the 35-year veteran officer, who was a father and grandfather, led to the passage of Senate Bill 856, which established 35 ‘non-ratio’ parole agent positions specifically to target the apprehension of parolees-at-large. At that time, 17,688 parolees were at large in California, which was 19 percent of the total parolee population, or almost double the U.S. Department of Justice’s national average of 10 percent for parolees who abandon parole. (The ability to track parole absconders was considerably reinforced with the passage of SB 3x18, which allowed the department to shift additional resources to apprehension efforts).

On August 1, 2010, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) launched historic parole reforms, phasing in 2009 legislation passed by the Legislature and signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, and implementing a new parole supervision model. With an overall goal to concentrate parole supervision resources on those parolees proven to be a high risk to commit a crime, CDCR is significantly lowering parole case loads from 70 parolees per agent to 48 parolees per agent. In addition, the parole division increased its efforts to capture parolees who have absconded from supervision, and placed more than 800 known gang members on active Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring. CDCR dedicated 47 parole agents, supervisors and parole service associates and $70,000.00 in technology to search for these individuals.

As of August 15, 2010 the number of parolees-at-large is 13,329, 12.5 percent of the total parolee population, which is near the national average. The number of parolees-at-large, in two of the four California parole regions, are now below or near the national average.

For Immediate Release Contact:
Gordon Hinkle (916) 445-4950
Luis Patiño (916) 445-4950