Wednesday, May 17, 2006

California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Honors Employees for Heroism, Outstanding Service at Annual Medal of Valor Ceremony

Who:                 California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation


What:                CDCR employees who have gone above and beyond the normal demand of correctional service are being honored with medals at the first combined adult and juvenile divisions ceremony.

When:               Friday, May 19, 2006
                          10:00 a.m.

Where:              West Steps of the State Capitol

Speakers:          James E. Tilton, Secretary (A)
                           Jeanne S. Woodford, Undersecretary

Narrator:           Kitty O’Neal
                           Afternoon Anchor, KFBK Radio

Background:

CDCR will honor employees with Medals of Valor, Distinguished Service and other awards at the first combined adult and juvenile ceremony. A moment of silence and “Amazing Grace” will be played in honor and memory of CDCR employees who have died in 2006.

Attn Regional Media:

The Public Information Officers at the various CDCR facilities have lists of local recipients who will be honored in this ceremony. Please contact them at 11 a.m. on Friday morning for this information.

For More Information: contact Margot Bach at (916) 445-4950

Monday, May 15, 2006

CDCR Secretary Calls for Statewide Audit of Sex Offender Placement Using GPS Technology

Sacramento - The Secretary of the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) has called for a statewide audit using Global Positioning Satellite Technology to ensure all High Risk Sex Offender parolees are appropriately and safely placed throughout the state of California and in full compliance with AB 113.

"When it comes to the placement of high risk sex offenders we cannot and will not compromise," said James E. Tilton, Secretary (A) for the CDCR. "Public safety is our single most important duty and concern and for that reason I have directed the staff of the Division of Adult Parole Operations to use Global Positioning Satellite technology to measure the distance of High Risk Sex Offender placement to ensure the placement complies with state law."

Reiterating the Governor's commitment to public safety and his zero tolerance for anything that unnecessarily endangers public safety, Tilton said he has already directed the Department to purchase the latest technology to accurately measure where High Risk Sex Offenders are placed in state communities.

"I want to make sure that there are no paroled sex offenders living in places where they should not be living," said Tilton. "In the past we used the old way of verifying placement, driving the streets and measuring the distance from a parolee's home to a schools or park, today that isn't good enough. We will use whatever technology we can to make sure we are in compliance with all state laws and guidelines."

The Department has begun purchasing 100 new GPS hand held units and will begin training staff immediately to ensure proper placement for sex offenders. "We must begin this audit immediately to reassure our communities that sex offenders are being placed and supervised according to law," Tilton said.

This week Secretary Tilton also began reaching out to local law enforcement and local elected officials. Building on existing relationships and ensuring good communications while establishing positive working relationships with local law enforcement and community leaders is the only way we can guarantee public safety remains our top priority, he said.

To ensure better communication and coordination, Tilton has established a Departmental liaison with local officials to develop a comprehensive plan to increase communication with local law enforcement, district attorneys and local elected officials.

"We need to establish the critical relationships necessary to embark on a collaborative reentry process for all parolees, including those convicted of sexual offenses," said Tilton. "This liaison office will make sure a critical line of communication is working properly and effectively."

"My expectation is that each and every current and future parolee placement is in total compliance with the law," Tilton said. "Anything less will not be tolerated."

The Department of Corrections is required under state law to return parolees to their county of last legal residence. The Department must also ensure that any high risk sex offender who has been convicted of certain child molesting charges under sections 228 and 228.5 of the penal code do not live within a half mile of any K-12 school.

Friday, May 12, 2006

High Risk Sex Offender Tracking Updates

At present, 417 High Risk Sex Offenders (HRSO) are being tracked statewide.

Since June 2005, approximately 95 HRSO GPS parolees have been taken into custody for parole violation charges. Of these, approximately 45 were charged with parole violations specifically having to do witha special condition of parole related to their sexual offense.

The following are examples of some of the charges: being present in a location where children congregate, indecent exposure, violation of a home curfew, possession of children toys, contact with a minor, association with a sex offender, developing a relationship with an adult female who had children, sexual assault of a child, possession of pornographic material, and stalking.

In some of the cases involving parole violation charges pertaining to curfew violations or being present in unauthorized areas (amusement park, locations where children congregate), GPS technology assisted parole agents in detecting the parole violation

Background

In June 2005, the new California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR), Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO), implemented a statewide 500 unit Global Positioning System (GPS) Pilot Program to monitor and track the movement of High Risk Sex Offender (HRSO) parolees as a public safety parole supervision tool.

Since the inception of the GPS Pilot Program, GPS technology has assisted parole agents and local law enforcement in the detection, investigation, and apprehension of several offenders involved in committing crimes involving stalking and crimes against children. This program has prevented additional crime and prevented new victims.

Program Information

  • The current vendor in the Satellite Tracking of People
  • The cost is $8.75 per active unit per day
Enabling Legislation and Budget Language

Penal Code section 3004

Currently, there are 417 High Risk Sex Offender (HRSO) parolees on GPS, and 17 identified gang member parolees.

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.