The subject of what should be done with registered sex offenders always leads to a myriad of questions. Should sexual offenders be set free and left alone after completing a prison sentence? Could offenders benefit from long-term rehabilitative treatment? Would residency restrictions that ban pedophiles from living within 2,000 feet of any location where children regularly congregate help or hurt matters?
In California, one high-profile case is changing the rules for registered sexual offenders. Phillip Garrido, the man accused of kidnapping 11-year-old Jaycee Dugard and holding her captive for 18 years, is being used as a striking example of why it is essential for law enforcement agents to keep a closer watch on registered offenders.
According to a memo procured by The Associated Press, sex offenders in California will now be forced to wear ankle bracelets that are monitored via GPS. These bracelets are to be worn at all times, so officers will be able to keep track of every move an offender makes.
Offenders who are considered to be a high risk will also receive more visits from their parole officers. Currently, registered offenders must meet with officers once a month. The new regulation will increase that to twice monthly.
These new policies are being implemented following harsh criticisms of the Phillip Garrido case. Despite the fact that Garrido had been convicted of raping a woman in 1976, he was set free much earlier than his 50-year sentence originally stipulated. While still on parole, Garrido kidnapped Jaycee Dugard, fathered two daughters with her and hid all three on his property for nearly two decades. It took a chance encounter with a Berkeley police officer to bring an end to Dugard’s nightmarish ordeal.
The case of Phillip Garrido wasn’t the only one that caused law enforcement officials to create stricter regulations for sex offenders. John Albert Gardner III is a convicted offender who was set free, and later arrested for allegedly murdering a teenager in the San Diego area. His story caused intense grief, anxiety and rage in people who could not understand why a registered offender was able to commit such a heinous crime.
California lawmakers are reacting to the criticisms. Registered offenders will now be made to wear ankle bracelets, and some can expect the number of visits they receive from parole officers to double. It is hoped that these new laws will drastically reduce the number of repeat offenses.
What do you think? Will these new regulations work? Do they infringe on the rights of people who have served their prison sentence? Should every state follow California’s lead and adopt these new rules? Leave us a comment to share your opinion, and thank you for reading the PeopleFinders People Search blog.
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