The county's probation chief said this week his department will supervise parolees for a full 12 months, despite a state law that allows low-level offenders to be released after six months' supervision.
Under state law AB109, responsibility for supervising parolees has shifted from state correctional officers to California counties. Related laws made it possible for those convicted of non-serious, non-violent, non-sexual offenses to be eligible for release from supervision after six months. If they do not violate the terms of their parole or commit another crime, they must be released after one year.
The realignment of responsibility began in October and in April, six months later, the number of parolees released from supervision jumped more than sixfold — from 1,300 in March to 8,500 — according to a report by the Los Angeles Times this weekend.
Law enforcement officials including LAPD Chief Charlie Beck and District Attorney Steve Cooley expressed concern in interviews with the Times that early release would limit efforts at rehabilitation and increase recidivism, all in the name of saving the state money.
But those gaining early release are not coming from Los Angeles County, Chief Probation Officer Jerry Powers told the Board of Supervisors today.
"We're not going to terminate folks at six months," Powers said. "I think that's too short of a time to do it. We're going to hold them for the full 12 and then, if they've been completely violation-free, then we must terminate jurisdiction."
Powers said that because of the 12-month rule, there would likely be a surge of parolees released from supervision in October, November and December.
How do you feel about the 12-month parolee supervision rule?