Hundreds of California sex offenders go missing under new law
SACRAMENTO, Calif. – The number of paroled sex offenders who are fugitives in California is 15 percent higher today than before Gov. Jerry Brown's sweeping law enforcement realignment law took effect 17 months ago, according to figures released Wednesday by the state corrections department.Now, I'm torn on this one. The whole idea that an offender who has been released from prison needs to be monitored for the rest of their life, despite having served their time, seems to run afoul of the 8th Amendment. If they are too dangerous to allow on the street unsupervised, then they have no business being out of jail, plain and simple. If they have served their time and are deemed to no longer be a threat, there's no reason to force them to wear a bracelet for the rest of their lives. If they are still a threat, then dammit, keep them in jail - as we all know, far too well, the police will only get there *after* the fact when the damage has been done.
The increase amounts to 360 more sex offenders whose whereabouts were unknown and who were not reporting to their parole officers last year.
It's especially vexing when you consider the guy that gets busted taking a leak on the side of the road at 3 in the morning can be labeled a sex offender, and therefore has to register along with the pedophiles, rapists, and other perverts. The 18 year old kid whose 17 year old girlfriend gets angry at him and turns him in for having sex with a minor runs into the same thing - these are situational crimes where it is highly unlikely to see recidivism, so having to wear an ankle bracelet 25 years after whizzing on the side of the road certainly seems cruel and unusual. The serial rapist who's been in and out of jail for most of his adult life? There's no need to make him wear a bracelet, because he should be behind bars until he draws his last breath.
It is interesting to note that in many cases, offenders who remove their bracelets are often either given a very light slap on the wrist or even turned away at the local prisons.Obviously the CA justice system doesn't view them as a serious threat - so why not reform the system so that only the criminals that really need monitoring keep the bracelets? Or, even better, how about just keeping them the hell in jail where they belong?
Or, best of all, stop telling women that the best way to prevent rape is to vomit on themselves and start arming themselves to truly prevent repeat offenses...
That is all.
Another dispatch from...
(image courtesy of Robb Allen)