California's prison situation has improved by leaps and bounds since the decade began, with legislation such as AB 109 and Proposition 47 dramatically reducing the number of nonserious criminals housed within state and local facilities. However, these laws have not yet realized their full potential - many probationers and parolees have gone without sufficient supervision following the restructured sentences that have come about over the past several years. California's public leaders need to flesh out their inmate management strategies with stronger probation programs and IT solutions that support them.
Where's the Supervision?
Even though California may have a lock on its core prison priorities, the peripheral responsibilities that accompanied the latest legislation have thrown many public officials for a loop, especially when it comes to the management of inmates who have since been released back into the public under probation strictures. According to a recent article from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune, police forces across the state have struggled to stay on top of the skyrocketing number of probationers within their communities, leading to a spike in recidivism and posing threats
to public safety. The source highlighted a story in which 23-year-old Anthony Joseph Zepeda of West Covina was returned to prison following an incident in which he fled from the police and was caught with a loaded handgun. Already having violated his probation, Zepeda was sentenced to another six months under the supervision of the county jail. Clearly, the probation department had failed to keep up with the criminal's activity, as he had been moving throughout the Los Angeles area without any monitoring from officials.
"When the officers began investigating, the men split up and ran in different directions," said Sgt. Andy Sutcliffe, according to the source. "Officers learned while running from them, he threw a 9mm handgun on the roof of a residence. The gun, which was loaded with 10 rounds of ammunition, had been reported stolen in Glendora."
Taking Back Control in CA
While a restructured probation program would certainly serve California's communities well, county jails need the support of dedicated offender tracking software
to help them manage these overwhelming demands. The PreTrial 360 solution from Tribridge offers a specialized Supervision Case Management module that lets jurisdictions maintain optimal monitoring and supervision procedures for inmates awaiting trial and released back into the public. This type of IT support could make a major impact on California's communities and help maximize the reach of AB 109.