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Citizens Community Watch LETS  
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MASSIVE RELEASE OF CONVICTED FELONS FROM PRISON AND
DEEP CUTS TO COPS AND DISTRICT ATTORNEYS

UPDATE: January 8, 2012

A Sacramento federal judge has struck down the part of California's Victims' Bill of Rights that governs parole revocation. The law was enacted by voter approval of Proposition 9 in 2008 by ballot initiative. SOURCE

Governor Jerry Brown more likely to allow the release of paroled killers from prison! Brown let stand 331 of 405 (82 percent) of decisions to parole convicted killers by the state Board of Parole Hearings last year.

By comparison, Arnold Schwarzenegger permitted the release of only 27 percent of paroled killers. Gray Davis' numbers were even lower  about 2 percent. SOURCE
 


 


Recently
Crimewatch explored the issue of a failed parole system that has a SEVERE impact on the residents of Sacramento. It's a FACT! 70% fail on parole! That number may be even higher because of the lag in collection and reporting crime statistics. Look at the hard numbers from SPD's website. By our figures, we have 8 times the number of felon parolees on the street per 1,000 city residents than police officers. SOURCE

CLICK HERE if you want to take your community back from criminals!

Update: August 25, 2011: Parolees and Parolees at Large continue to murder cops!

For the past two decades, one of the Mainstream Media's most under-reported phenomina is the slaughter of America's law enforcement officers and reduction of their forces on our streets.

From 1992 to 1995 the murder of police officers doubled in California. From 1992 to 2001, the homicide rate in the general population of California decreased 49.6 percent from 12.5 to 6.3. The homicide rate for peace officers killed in the line of duty was (8.4).

In 1994 your webmaster was recruited, by then Attorney General Dan Lungren, to come to Sacramento and monitor the progress of a new "Violent Crime Information Network" (VCIN)

While the California Legislature passed the law in 1989, they seemed unwilling to fund these critical tools for public and police officer safety.

Nearly twenty years later, America's cops are paying the price for the gross incompetence of those in power.

Police officers shot and killed in the line of duty are on the rise again, up 20 percent so far this year. One hundred officers have died in 2011, ten in July alone. 160 officers were killed by gunfire in 2010 a 40% increase over 2009. 2011, if the trend continues, will dwarf the last years steep increase in murders of our Nation's finest.

The City of Sacramento cut 167 positions from our Police Department, the county cut 47 jobs from the District Attorney's office while our city has the second highest violent crime rate in California.

LOCAL NEWS HEADLINES SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES: Where is the national media?

  • After officer's killing, police question parole process. The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association is requesting a "thorough, timely, transparent review" of the state Parole Board.
     

  • Parolee charged with killing cop: A man on parole for armed robbery has been charged with the fatal shootings of Chicago Police Officer Michael Flisk and former Chicago Housing Authority officer Stephen Peters in a Southeast Side alley last week.
     

  • Parolee From Colorado Suspected Of Killing Police Officer: CHATTANOOGA, Tenn. Police say the ex-convict suspected of fatally shooting a veteran police officer was wanted in Colorado for robbery.


Update: November 3, 2004: While the City Attorney stalls on placing wanted felon PALS on the police website, the citizens of California had considered gutting Three Strikes!  What were the people of California and the residents of Sacramento thinking?  This webmaster thinks it's time to follow the fed's lead and abolish parole; a system that produces a 70% failure rate and the source of most violent crime in our city according to testimony by Deputy Chief Matt Powers before the City Council.  Thank God we dodged the bullet that could have freed up to 26,000 convicts.

Now it's time to hold the City Council to their word. It's time to tell the City Attorney to butt out and put public safety ahead of political bickering.  Social services can then free up resources for people who really need a hand rather than giving wanted felons all the financial support they need to support drug businesses or habits.

Hear the ACTION as it happened!
Click Here

Hear the Chief's comments on KFBK's Tom Sullivan Show February 19, 2004. He responds to questions put forward by our watch group and comments on suggestion for adding Parolees at Large mug-shots on the Police Department's website.  

Nájera: Put data on Web
By M.S. Enkoji -- Bee Staff Writer
Published 2:15 a.m. PST Saturday, February 28, 2004

Read the article that represents a dramatic confirmation and reversal of long standing city policy.  

Community Watch has a long history of campaigning for parole supervision reform, police officer and parole agent safety.  While some city officials challenged the group’s Report to City Council on Parole, labeling it “officious” State Parole couldn't deny rising violent crime by parolees in the city. That report, in its entirety, can be found here.

“We’ve come a long way since then and have moved on with rekindled resolve” says the report’s co-author Dave Jenest. In a radio interview just last week, the new Chief, Albert Najera when questioned by Jenest, appeared open to the concept of placing mug shots of violent Parolees at Large on the Department’s website or the popular Crime Alert.  He said he thought it was a good idea and would look into the legal issues to be considered.  “The Chief has proven that he’s listening to his officers and the public they serve.  We will support his effort all the way up to the Capitol if need be. It's not a new issue for Community Watch. See how we dealt with this subject and the location map of Sacramento's worst sexual predators. Click here.

 

Just think about Prop 66 - Many people in this state wanted to undo Three Strikes!  According to the Bee, Court records show three felony cases involving Harper between March 1999 and August 2001. The reality is that judges don't use Three Strikes to full measure in this and other counties in California.  Why was Harper on the street to begin with?  Nearly half of these career criminals fail on parole. It time to END PAROLE once and for all in California!  More...  

We know a little something about parole. Chief Venegas should have been paying attention on May 9, 1995 when people whose lives are forever changed, because of the failures of the criminal justice infrastructure to give street cops the information they need, brought their case to the Legislature.  Pictured left to right (left-hand photo) is Dave Jenest testifying on the status of DOJ's VCIN, Kyle Haynes, widow of a slain Oakland police officer and his partner by a parolee at large, Niki Trejo, daughter of slain Sonoma County Deputy Sgt, Frank Trejo, Jeff Thompson with the California Correctional Officer's Association, Sgt. Tom Cooper, Sacramento Police Department relating the incidents of violent gun battles here by PALS and Deputy Sheriff, Sgt. John DiCarlo who served as spokesperson for our group.  Pictured on the right, is former Attorney General Dan Lungren as he joins us online for his first internet live conference hosted by Dave Jenest on CompuServe. (See Online Conferencing)

The "Not invented here" syndrome or the "I thought of it first" display of ruffled feathers, often gets in the way of coalition building. So it's no surprise that the mayor and the chief plotted to kill the message that follows, by attempting to slay the messenger.  What they and the shill they dug up at State Parole failed to realize, is that the data in our report came from parole and street cops in Sacramento.  It's worth mentioning that two of our PAL examples distinguished themselves.  Loren Antonio, when no units were available in the middle of the day, as we followed him around midtown for 45 minutes, made good his escape and raped a 5 year old girl and molested her 7 year old sister in Washington state.  Anthony Taylor, who defrauded dozens of rental car companies and local merchants, operated with impunity for over a year, until he stole Tiger Woods identity and became a high priority PAL.

 


 
SCCW - Public/Officer Safety Sub-Committee
Report to the Mayor and City Council - Tentative Item 11.2
 

May 11, 1999
 

TO:  THE MAYOR and CITY COUNCIL MEMBERS
FROM:  Sacramento Citizen's Community Watch (SCCW)
  Public/Officer Safety Sub-Committee

SUBJECT: Citizen's Report and Recommendations on 
  Public and Officer Issues as they relate to Parolees
 

INITIAL RECOMMENDATIONS

The City of Sacramento should establish an independent review and audit process, engaging community members in that process, to weigh and evaluate the following:
 

1. Assess the impact of a growing number of social services facilities, Single Room Occupancy Hotels/Motels, licensed/unlicensed board and care facilities, poorly managed low cost multi-tenant housing and abandoned residential property that appear to cater to or attract many parolees, probationers, convicted felons and fugitives.

2. Assess the current manpower needs of the Sacramento Police Department to field sufficient sworn resources to stem the flow of parolees into the city that are not released here (Transient Parolee Pending Violation (TPPV), quickly and more efficiently assist state parole in apprehending Parolees at Large. SPD might serve in an advisory role in the supervision and rehabilitation of active parolees, in a citizen driven/police/parole/social services partnership called Community Oriented Corrections and Rehabilitation. (COCR)

3. Redirect the energy of city staff away from punitive civil litigation, taxation or  adversarial actions against third party partners (gun manufactures, ammunition and state agencies respectively) in favor of pro-active leadership in parole offender and prison reform measures, officer and public safety priorities and creative partnerships which includes direct community accountability and decision making.


SUMMARY   (The Chief's perspective1 vs SCCW's Sub-committee)

The Chief's last summary to council dated 4-16-99 states: 

"This report was prepared at the direction of the Mayor, as it relates themes he identified in his last State of the City address. This information report describes the impacts of parolees and parolees at large  (parolees that have absconded parole and are fugitives) in the City of Sacramento. Additionally, this report recommends that the Law and Legislation Committee study the feasibility of a proposed ordinance to apply a tax on the sale of bullets to support additional officers and prosecutors to address the problems caused by parolees in possession of firearms."

1. Quotes from the Chief's three reports delivered to council in the past year will appear in bold blue text italics.

 
  
  • We respectfully disagree with some of these recommendations and suggest there are far more complementary areas of agreement that have more direct bearing on the problem and it's ultimate solution.  Our testimony will examine those complementary elements and we believe the community should have input to the Law and Legislation Committee on this vital issue.
  • We will further suggest, that local beat officers may have a better track record in apprehending parolees at large and ones committing new crimes than more expensive multi-agency approaches to the problem. It may well be more efficient and cost effective to beef up resources in patrol and problem oriented policing teams than to further fragment the police force with special units like the Career Criminal Apprehension Team or the Chief's proposed new team (viewed as duplicity)
  • The Sacramento Police Department should be directed to fully comply with Public Records Act requests, and encourage district patrol officers to engage community leaders irrespective of their activism or desire for accountability.  When a parolee has been "at large" for an extended time, the community should be enlightened and information made readily available when requested. There should be no hesitation on the part of law enforcement to aid organized watch groups in obtaining Information Bulletins on these types of offenders.
  • Lastly, the report to council from April 27 and some of the attendant statistics2 should be widely distributed to the public in an educational format. This could help formulate a long term funding solution to the severe staffing shortages within the police department, while expanding the goals of community policing with a Community Oriented Corrections and Rehabilitation component.
BACKGROUND

The Mayor, City Council and Police Administrators admit to the problem of a growing numbers of parolees committing crimes in the city.  They further indicate it has been a long standing problem. In the past year, the issue has been the subject of several reports from the police chief (May 14, 1998, March 10th and April 16th 1999).  While the earliest report addressed the positive steps undertaken by police and allied agencies, it failed to raise the level of alarm sufficiently to muster community support or council action in fully addressing the problem. 

Because of the proprietary nature of high risk criminals, police administrators have viewed possible initiatives and solutions as the sole province of professional law enforcement.  Some community members and activists, having a keen interest in parolee conduct, have special expertise on the subject.  They often find themselves cut off and criticized by police management for treading on this hollowed ground.  These are mixed messages in the promotion of Community Oriented Policing and its actual application when it comes to convicted felons victimizing our neighborhoods.  One fact is inescapable; when police management and many city staff  go home at the end of a workday, we live with the problem.
 

2. See the bullet list attached to this report as an example of the Chief's information that would be of value to community organizations if presented by his personnel in an educational forum.

 
This report seeks council's commitment to engage the community in visible public dialogue, talking points, issue clarification and providing information on the subject of parolees in the city of Sacramento. Both council and the police have discussed the matter over the past year, but have yet engage the community in substantive ways. Our testimony will focus on the impact of parolees on the general public and the police officers of our community. It will also look at feedback we've received from police officers and fellow community members.

As a backdrop, we've built the framework for this discussion around "reports back" to City Council by Chief Venegas, his Deputy Chief, Matt Powers and testimony from the April 27th council session and prior written reports.

Our group has called for a full public airing on the impact of many active parolees known to be engaged in criminal acts in our city and what appears to be an attraction of other parolees and parolees at large to the many services available, sometimes under cover of anonymity and privacy.

Deputy Chief Powers testified that social services providers, are generally cooperative with law enforcement. There are many documented contradictions.

We will point to several specific examples where this appears not to be the norm. In fact, with one leading provider (Loaves & Fishes) in their day to day operations,  they have failed to exercise fiduciary responsibility for proper disbursement of social security and welfare funds that are required of the average private trustee or payee3.  We believe this example, involving an individual with thousands of dollars in criminal warrants, caught committing a crime on our property, further exacerbates the "safe haven" "all you can eat" attractions in the central city. 

Meanwhile, these same public subsidized homeless criminals victimize the surrounding neighborhoods.  Obstruction of police is not restricted to social services and wanted parolees.  We will offer testimony that some "shelters" and "rehab facilities" consider their charges "clients in sanctuary" and refuse to acknowledge the mere presence of persons being sought by police4. Slum hotels, dubbed SRO's have an infamous reputation for obstructing police.  (Sequoia Hotel,5  The Clinton, Berry etc etc) Some are managed by registered sex offenders with demonstrated hatred toward police and persons arrested for narcotics distribution while managing the very properties where the criminal enterprise exists.

Even the county facilities obstructs our officers:

Private facilities are not alone in what sometimes appears as obstructing officers, aiding and abetting fugitives from justice or placing unnecessary obstacles in a police officer's way.  We will offer an example of County jail staff refusing to accept a parolee arrested by Sacramento officers because of a skin condition.  We've heard this problem before and it questions the resolve of the county to support our officers commitment to get PALs off the street.  The most recent incident occurred this past weekend. SPD Report 99-35007 where a parolee belonging in another jurisdiction had to be released with a field contact because the jail refused to book them for medical reasons (an all to common problem)
 

3.  See attached Trust Account Statement - Client's name blocked, original on file.
4. Police attempting to contact mother of an at risk missing 8 year old were refused access by director of  Volunteers of America facility and told to make an appointment the next day. 
5. SPD Call Number 99-131459 Manager refused to assist officers making an arrest

 
Reluctant SPD civilian staff,  questionable police policy and limited sworn resources have allowed dangerous fugitives to slip through the cracks.

Further, lack of patrol resources, civilian staff making law enforcement decisions and questionable practices under police General Orders will be explored in several cases. Each are violent parolees consider by state parole as "High Risk".  In each case, the action or inaction of SPD resulted in the continued freedom from apprehension while they continued their crimes:

 

Julian Mack - CDC# K-17828
Loren Antonio, CDC# C-96933 
Anthony Taylor - Xref 3248910 & 2411931
Mack was a neighbor known to be consorting with armed felons.  Calls to SPD dispatch on armed gang activity were not responded to. Fortunately, his parole agent worked with us and he was violated for a short term.  When released he was arrested with two others in a car with guns and masks. They were charged with up to 30 armed robberies. The case number was 97-F08734.  He went back to prison for less than a year and robbery charges were dropped (Co-defendants Hudson and Armstrong walked) Mack is now returning for a six month PAL violation.

Loren Antonio is a murderer and rapist of a 3 year old child. According to his parole agent he was featured in a Sacramento Bee article in  May of 1993 where he was pictured with a young child at a social services provider.  When arrested across the street from this service provider he was found in possession of two knives in violation of parole.  He was returned to prison, paroled back to Sacramento (as a homeless person with Loaves and Fishes his last address).  He immediately escaped from the halfway house.  Community Watch observed him in midtown, followed him for 45 minutes while in constant contact with police.  He made good his flight and now faces life in prison after conviction in Washington State for rape of a 5 year old girl.  We were promised a complete investigation by police but despite many requests, never apprised of corrective measures being taken to resolve our community's concerns.

Anthony Taylor is a PAL believed to be armed and dangerous. He has embezzled rental cars from nearly every agency in the county.  This case came to our attention when rental car companies who had attended one of our visitor public safety meetings two years ago, contacted us. They felt vague police auto theft policy exceptions, had been unfairly applied when police dispatchers refused to enter embezzled cars as stolen.  We contacted police and were directed to make a public records request with the goal of understanding the policy and collectively seeking procedures to cover thefts by a PAL using assumed names, fake identification and fraudulent credit cards.  The Public Records Act was not complied with by SPD. Taylor is still a PAL.  (Last case 99-21456) The only cooperation we've had has been from parole.

Other Law Enforcement Agencies Supportive of public's right to know:

In our own experiences, we have found state parole, outside agencies and federal authorities quite eager to engage concerned citizens who show a willingness to become part of a solution in distributing information and keeping watch for fugitives. In that effort, constant follow-up is maintained to keep information current and announce arrests with credit to the arresting agency shared with fellow citizens.
 


 
To some limited degree, we have had an opportunity to assist SPD in these types of cases, but not without difficulty.  We have pointed to the lack of fugitive photos on SPD's internet site, only to be advised that's what Crime Alert is for.  Last check of that site revealed no wanted parolees, murder suspects or major violent felons wanted by Sacramento Police.  Of the three photos, two were county wants and one drug warrant for Sacramento City police.  SPD's crime analysis unit indicates it is lack of staffing resources that precludes a "Most Wanted" section and we've been generally rebuffed when volunteering to fulfill that need.  This city funded Safe Streets and other crime prevention programs in the hundreds of thousands of dollars.  Sacramento's fugitive are still invisible to all but law enforcement and except for the few that can be found on the Community Watch website.

Look to improvements in-house rather than just shifting targets.

While city leaders look to the District Attorney and state parole for answers, we suggest that some of the answers lie in the Administration's communication internally and with allied agencies.
 

  • Same cases may go away because of limited investigative resources.
  • Reports have been lost between SPD records and the DA causing dropped charges
  • Lack of feed back to the community on cases where the community assisted police
  • Only recently have some patrol officer's complaints of "stale warrants" 6been addressed by management. 


Things seem to be improving but we're not convinced that it's being driven by a long term strategy, rather, putting out a fire that's been ignored for some time.  We know there's a lot of motivation by street officers and detectives over officer Bean's tragic death and the shooting of two officers last year. 

In my experience around the nation, it's not uncommon for officers to wage a clean up campaign on a city's worst after an officer is shot in the line of duty.  Some experts site internal stress relief and a way of coping for this behavior.  Sacramento is more fortunate than most cities for having an excellent peer counseling and chaplaincy program, still, some officers will find street work most therapeutic.

Short term gains need longer term follow through and analysis

There appear to be some statistical discrepancies in Police Department reports that justify further research into parolee populations in other California areas compared to ours.  We have found no supporting evidence that Sacramento County has a disproportionate number of known parolees or parolees at large.  Sacramento now does a better job of apprehending PALs as demonstrated by daily activity reports submitted by sector supervisors and reduced numbers of PALs in our sector (Sector 1) from just two months ago.7  (67 in February to 44 as of April 15th)  Also, the number of parolees has 

6. The perception that CCAT gets first shot without letting the district officer in on the latest status, is commonplace.  As this report was being prepared, two officers in the South area were complaining on the radio that they had been doing an attempt pick up on a felony suspect who had been dead for three years.  Another was in custody in an outside agency for the past year.
7.  We understand that Deputy Chief Powers has instructed all watches to get parolee info out to officers on the beat, a welcome direction that officers have generally reacted to positively. This can be fined tuned with expansion of information technology and migration of parole data from LEADS and CDC.

 
dropped from 310 to 239 in the same period. The total number of parolees in the county has been reduced from 3,878 in March to 3,786 as of May 2nd.

The claim that importation of parolees not released to Sacramento has been substantially reduced bears closer examination.  Arrests in recent weeks suggest that large numbers of parolees, that should be passing through the city, a transportation hub for many of the region's prisons, may be staying here. They are required by law to report to their final destination within a specific time frame. Failure to do so is a violation of parole terms and conditions.  It also violates the spirit of a bill we lobbied for in 1995 to shorten the window of opportunity to commit crimes from time of release to reporting to the home parole officer.

In a solutions vein, one local officer who has arrested nearly forty parolees so far this year, suggested CDC send release funds (what parolees term "gate money") and any balance from the inmates  prison account, directly to his parole officer at the final destination. A minimal travel allowance for food and bare necessities, would discourage the parolee from deviating from his required travel itinerary.

The above circumstances creates a new class of parolee we've tentatively dubbed Transient Parolee Pending Violation (TPPV).  This class of parolee poses significant risks to both police officers and the general public.  The Police Department has neither addressed this issue nor have they developed a plan to estimate it's population.

The California Department of Correction's Parole and Community Services Division reports that there are 19,877 parolees at large statewide as of 4-30-99.  From the number 566 reported by local police of known PAL's, this appears to be a very small per cent of PAL's statewide.  State parole today reported that PAL's in Sacramento county as of April 30, 1999 amounts to 522 or 2.62% of the statewide number. Fresno County has 579 or 2.91% of the state's PALs while Kern County registers 609 or 3.06%

Statewide there are 111,734 active parolees with Sacramento County sharing 3.38% as reported earlier with the 3,786 number.  Fresno County weighs in at 3.11 % for 3,481 and Kern County with 3.4% at 3,809 active parolees.  We believe the Police Department needs more support in developing statistical comparisons to measure where we stand as a city within this mix and the actual financial and criminal impact of this parolee base on crime victims and costs to the criminal justice system.

"Shared Ownership" - Parolees are our problem too

In the Chief's report dated March 10th  he stated:

 "During the evening City Council meeting of March 2. 1999, Council member Robbie Waters requested that the Police Department provide statistical information on the number of parolees released within the City limits. 8

While technically correct, I hope council does not lose sight of the fact this matter was brought to council by local residents and Community Watch immediately after officer Bean's murder.  Whether the 

8.  As we've indicated in this report, and having read the Department's three prior reports, the only conclusion reached is that we have more parolees per capita than the county.  This is unremarkable. it's a situation that is mirrored statewide in more rural counties with a single urban city like Sacramento, Bakersfield and Fresno.

 
Chief wishes to acknowledge our role or not is irrelevant The subject of parolees at large is not new to us either. 

Notice should be taken that this recent dialogue was updated to the memorandum dated May 14, 1998, entitled "Parolees Released in the City" and it seemed to ignite no burning desire to address the issue and the Mayor was clear that this has been a topic of discussion of prior police administrations too. 
We would like to review and comment on some of the data presented in those reports.  We've used footnotes to comment on specific points and would wish to expand on it in future sessions should we run short of time on the evening of May 18th.

Looking at the March 10th report:

"According to the California Department of Corrections-Parole Division the City and County of Sacramento have a total of approximately 3,878 subjects on active parole. There is an additional 566 parolees-at-large (PALs), for a combined total of 4,444. Additionally, there are approximately 1,145 parolees in custody on parole violations.

Below is a breakdown of the parolees within the City and County limits:"
 
AREA
 POPULATION
 %
ACTIVE PAROLEES
PALs
TOTAL PAROLEES
% OF PAROLEES /POPULATION
CITY
392,000
35%
1,842
239
2,081
0.53%
COUNTY
724.000
65%
2,036
327
2,363
0.33%
TOTAL
1,116,000
100%
3,878
566
4,444
 

We agree with the statement:

"The table above illustrates that the total number of parolees is disproportionately higher within the City as compared to the County per number of residents. In other words, in the County there is one parolee for every 306 citizens. Whereas, in the City, there is one parolee for every 188 citizens. Additionally, the County is comprised of 869 square miles, while the City spans 96 square miles. This equates to 3 parolees for every square mile in the County and 22 parolees for every square mile in the City." 10

As of January 1, 1998, the law required that inmates who are released on parole to be returned to the county of last legal residence (COLLR). As of January 4, 1999. Sacramento County is the COLLR for 95.7% of the subjects that enter the California Department of Corrections from arrests.11 Additionally, there are 283 parolees residing in Sacramento other than their COLLR, or imports. Simultaneously, there are 278 parolees from Sacramento (COLLR) living in another county, or exports. This equates to a net import of 0.1%. The California Department of Corrections has an agreement with other counties and states which allow for administrative transfers  of parolees to satisfy 
 

9.  SPD or CDC should analyze the make up of these "in custody parolees", their COLLR, where they are housed, for what term and if a fresh case was dismissed in favor of violation re-commitment.
10.  While this is interesting data, we should examine it in relation to statewide figures, cities and counties of comparable size, similar population densities and perhaps geographic similarities.
11.  This data may not be current based on recent contacts/arrests of parolees by SPD officers.

 
conditions of their parole.12

As we testified after this report was delivered to council, prison inmates who have intact families often move to the community near the institution so that ties can be maintained. These prisoners generally do far better on parole than parolees without family ties to the community. We're not convinced that absolute imposition of COLLR is a criteria in every case. 

Let's look at the dozen's of parolees that use social services as last know address because they are homeless.  That would tend to undermine the very intent of COLLR in our minds and it's been suggested, that as a condition of parole, an individual be required to establish a physical residency within a minimum time line.

Below is a chart showing the number of individuals and parolees booked into the County Jail or cited in the field during 1995 through 1998 by Sacramento Police Department Officers:
YEAR
Total # of Individuals Booked
Total # of Parolees Booked
% ofParolees vs Individuals Booked
% of Citations issued to Parolees in
the Field
1995
14907
1496
9.12%
360
1996
14854
1484
9.08%
322
1997
16125
1583
8.94%
314
1998
15718
1899
10.78%
260

Over the past four years, parolees, which account for only 0.53% of the City of Sacramento population, are responsible for an average of 10% of the bookings in the County Jail.

In 1998, Sacramento Police Department Officers arrested and booked 57 more parolees than what was currently living in the City.13

It should be noted that the total cost for parolee bookings during 1995 through 1998, amounts to approximately $1.1 million. This is just an estimate since the cost for booking a prisoner into the County Jail has increased throughout the years, and not all bookings incur identical charges.14

 

12.  We have evidence that a number of parolees at large have been arrested here and are from other COLLR's and may not be factored into this equation.  What share of the 19,000 parolees at large statewide, are attracted to our city and unknown to law enforcement?
13.  This figure needs to be detailed to show multiple arrests of the same person, non COLLR arrests and 3056 p.c. detentions where parolee was held but not sent back to prison.
14.  The committee requests a more detail cost breakdown and inquires if CDC shares in costs or reimburses the city/county much the same way as federal agencies pay for housing federal prisoners while in transit, awaiting trial or appearing as witnesses.

 
The California Department of Corrections currently has approximately one agent for every 80 to 100 parolees. This ratio decreases somewhat in the violent offender, sexual predator section. Upon release from prison there is a three year term of supervised parole. There is an approximate 70% recidivismrate.15The Parole Division suffered significant staff reduction in the last few years, as they were once at a ratio of about 50 to 1."

A point was made by the Chief and Deputy Chief that local parole agents drop PAL's from their caseload after they abscond.  We too agree that may be a policy worthy of review by CDC and agree with the mayor that it equates to an unfunded mandate on local government to recapture these career criminals.  Community education plays a vital role in change advocacy.  The council and police administration should not lose sight of this factor.

CDC did receive $3.1 million for the funding of 31 agents to address the PAL population and per the director's office at this writing 4 to 5 additional officers are being fielded. 

Subjects sentenced to State Prison, for non-violent offenses, are allowed to earn up to one day "good time" for each day served, for up to 50% reduction in their respective sentences. Violent criminals and sexual offenders are required to serve up to 85% of their sentence.

What needs to be underscored here is that many violent offenders play the "Let's Make a Deal Game" and are committed back to prison for less serious offenses, assuming they "catch a fresh case" and therefore do little time. Our previous example of Julian Mack is a classic example of that process.  We should be looking to the court's lenient sentencing and plea bargaining arrangements in any lobbying efforts.

Police Officers have crossed paths with several parolees during recent critical incidences which has posed a significant threat to officer and citizen safety.16As such, Police Department staff is currently drafting proposed language for an emergency bill for the City's local legislators to consider regarding increasing the penalties for parole violations.

We applaud that effort, but again suggest that interested citizens need to be involved in the process.

Deputy Chief Mart Powers represents the department and the California Peace Officers' Association, as a charter member of the California Department of Corrections' Law Enforcement Consortium. Under my direction, the Sacramento Police Department has successfully advanced changes in the management and supervision of this population.17

15.  This is important data and it would be helpful if it were broken down by types of violations. Not all parolees are returned to prison for new crimes, nor do all parolees return to prison for minor crimes or crimes that have been reduced by plea bargaining.  Further, a high recidivism rate can be a good indication that parole supervision is working.
16.  We believe this statement to be greatly understated as it applied to police officers and it's uncertain what impact it has on financial crimes that have low clearance rates in our city. We will offer an example of a violent armed PAL that has impacted a specific industry in the region is a very significant way and poses a high risk to officers.
17.  If this positive relationship is that strong, the Chief would be in a position to support his officers desire to be notified when parolees are released into their sectors or districts.  There seems to be some confusion as to whose responsibility that is.

 
Internal efforts have included creation of the Career Criminal Apprehension Team (CCAT), which includes a parole agent, the redirection of  SWAT's mission to focus on parolees-at-large, and recent changes in patrol18 which has increased their attention to parolee crime. 

We've heard a lot about CCAT in the news and it was held up as an innovative and successful creation of the Sacramento Police Department and serves as a national model.  Council might be interested in a side by side comparison derived in part, from the Chief's May 14, 1998 report.

Two officers that work four days a week in midtown, in the last 15 months, have rid our neighborhood of 105 parolees, many of whom were at large and from other cities. The Career Criminal Apprehension Team, (CCAT) has taken 329 parolees and 82 fugitive off the street in 42 months, according to the report.

105 arrests / 15 months  = 7 per month / 2 patrol officers  = 3.5 parolees per month 

(So far this year, they have arrested over 33 parolees through 4-10-99)

-vs-

 411 parolees & fugitives / 42 months = 9.7 per month / 6 CCAT officers = 1.6 per month

(We know state parole has one full time employee attached to CCAT, 3 to 4 SPD cops and we suspect the number of officers from the varied agencies is higher than the six we used in the formula.)

We would suggest it appropriate to weigh the costs of CCAT to that of well trained, experienced patrol officers before the city considers adding to this or another specialized team. These special officers are eventually responsible to depleting patrol resources.

Some members of our committee point to severe staffing shortages and a lack of full public disclosure about staffing in the department in general, as the most significant problem in addressing serious crime by career criminals in our city.
 

Report from Chief Venegas to the Mayor and Council dated: April 16, 1999

The Chief scheduled an agenda item on April 27th that covered, in many respects, the report our committee intends to present on May 18th.  It appears however, that it's in support of the Mayor's interest in seeking actions against gun makers and gun owners.  The following report to the Mayor and City Council details that plan and possible uses for revenues generated from this source.

This report was prepared at the direction of the Mayor, as it relates themes he identified in his last State of the City address. This information report describes the impacts of parolees and parolees at large  (parolees that have absconded parole and are fugitives) in the City of Sacramento. Additionally, this report recommends that the Law and Legislation Committee study the feasibility of a proposed ordinance to apply a tax on the sale of bullets to support additional officers and prosecutors to address the problems caused by parolees in possession of firearms.

18.  Patrol officers have expressed concern for lack of timely notification when supervised parolees become PALs.  The common complaint is that this information seems to flow exclusively to Union (SWAT) units. Patrol often gets it's information via the grapevine. Some improvement seems to be in the works.

 
BACKGROUND (From the Chief's April 16th report - testimony on April 27th)

"In accordance with Section 12021 of the California Penal Code, it is a felony for any person who has been convicted of a felony anywhere in the world to own or possess a firearm. Frequently, persons accused of a violation of this code are not prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, although it may be considered as a violation of his/her parole (if applicable). The issue of parolees with guns is a particularly volatile one, especially here in the City of Sacramento." 

California parolees are well schooled by CDC (as noted by the "10-20-LIFE" flyer attached with this report) when parolees are released.  While we support the Deputy Chief's suggestion that this matter be reviewed, we would suggest a different course of action as first steps to a long term solution.

"The Sacramento Police Department is recognized as one of the most pro-active police agencies in the state for its innovations and attentiveness to the problems associated with a large parole population. Chief Arturo Venegas, Jr. and Deputy Chief Matt Powers were charter members in the Law Enforcement Consortium , a nationally recognized advisory group. This organization is both a partner in problem solving and a "watch dog" of the many complex issues concerning the impacts of State Department of Corrections policies on local crime." 

We've mentioned before that parole reform as it impacts officer safety is not a new topic to my organization and it's a concern often expressed by my fellow residents in their personal lives.  There still exists in the ranks of police managers, a paradoxical Them vs Us mentality.  While the virtues of Community Policing are taught to rookies in the academy, in practice, some areas of policing are off-limits to the average citizen.  Their distrust of us, generated distrust of them.

We have a right to be a watchdog too.  And we will continue that self-appointed role and I believe that most of our peers, local residents, hope someone will fill those shoes.  But it's up to our elected representative to aid us in that challenge and serve as a catalyst between the law enforcement professional managers who are resistive and members of the community who have questions and wish to support and defend good police management and decision making.

This brings us near a conclusion.  I met with Deputy Chief Powers in 1995 to seek support from the Law Enforcement Consortium on recommendation to the Legislature by officers, survivors and concerned citizens on a variety of issues.  Some of these were crafted into law.  What struck me was a level of resistance brought on by fear of litigation by prisoners rights lawyers.  God help us if the day comes, that what we bring to legislators has to be co-signed by litigators who fill our courts with nuisance suits from litigious convicts.

The chief opens the door for further dialogue on the subject of well intentioned prison reforms that seem to work against the interest of the community and law enforcement:

"An additional problem was the impact of California's change from an indeterminate sentencing law (i.e. "Two years to life"), to determinant sentencing (i.e. fixed sentenced and shorter fixed parole requirements). This significantly reduced deterrent options available to parole agents. Prison crowding and Department of Corrections policies further hindered an agent's ability to return parole violators to prison. More importantly it hindered their equal obligation to successfully reintegrate former prisoners into the general population."
 

 

 
Here again, we suggest a partnership to review and seek changes in that law that benefit us all. The City of Sacramento should establish an independent review and audit process, engaging community members in that process before passing the matter to the Law and Legislation Committee.

We believe the Police Department's management wanted to make a statement, but that it was driven by frustration rather than solid logic.  Councilmen Yee and Waters seemed to have the same difficulty connecting up with this recommendation and it deserves further study.  From the Chief's report:

"Compounding the parole situation in Sacramento, is easy access to guns. Parolees should not have guns and they don't buy them at a retail counter. One of the principle arguments of gun rights advocates is that the most appropriate social control of the misuse of firearms is to aggressively target the "people" who use guns, not restrict access to the law abiding citizens. The Police Department agrees that serious offenders -especially parolees - should face serious consequences for such offenses. Our resolve is evidenced by the reassignment of personnel from other pressing duties to focus on this population. But once arrested, it is of even greater import that parolee are prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If convicted, they must face penalties commensurate with the seriousness of the crime.

The Police Department proposes the creation of a team of highly trained officers to address problems with parolees and parolees at-large. This team would augment the existing staff to specifically work with the State Parole Division exclusively on the issue of arresting and prosecuting parolees who commit felonies, with a special emphasis on firearm violations."

This city accepted a federal grant for "Advancing Community Policing" and expanding resources at the patrol and district level.  It would be a mistake, to centralize yet another special team, when the problem is in the community where more resources need to be directed.  Patrol, in our mind, enhanced by POP Teams and Neighborhood Police, is a more efficient method of apprehended repeat offenders.

At the opening of our report, we urged the council to engage the community in this important issue.  Our experience with confused messages over Measure M and the recent spike in violent crime this year, suggest that traditional citizen's advisory boards need refreshing and re-staffing to include critics of the status quo.  The District Attorney has a Citizen's Cabinet and the Chief, a Citizen's Advisory Board. We're suggesting the formation of a Community Oriented Corrections and Rehabilitation Council that would be a collaborative approach and seek participation from the other criminal justice practitioners in our city as well as the previously mentioned citizen's panels.  Input from the community could reach even deeper to the Neighborhood Response Teams now working with code enforcement.  This ensures a neighborhood level involvement in identifying problems associated with criminal nuisance behaviors and identification of problems properties where wanted parolees may be engaged in crime.19

 

19.  We pointed to one such property at 1331 D Street and a SRO Hotel at 17th & J Streets as examples of public nuisances directly related to parolees engaged in criminal behavior.

 
From the process we just discussed, may very well come solutions and positive consequences that the city may have overlooked or had insufficient staff to address the problems head on.  We offer the following as talking points, revenue generators and potential cost saving efficiencies, that cuts to the heart of some problems in the city as they relate to delivery of services by police.
 
  • Inventory and inspect duplexes and four-plexes that function like SRO's in this city to determine if they are businesses subject to the permitting and business licensing requirements.
  • Look more closely at multi-tenant property that have a majority of subsidized tenants.20 Are they serving as a quasi social service complexes at taxpayer expense?
  • Establish an excessive "Calls for Service Surcharge" attributed to problem properties.  Why should the law abiding residents and property owners be expected to bear cost from property owners that refuse or resist cleaning up their problems.
  • Review the Fire Ambulance policy that transports frequent drug overdose patients to public health facilities without tracking for law enforcement purposes.  We've seen parolees and probationers transported after an overdose with no feedback, other than ours, to law enforcement.
  • Question and investigate the use of police personnel in transporting "in custody" suspects, parolees and probationers, between jail, mental health and medical facilities, often in a "baby sitting" capacity that drains patrol resources.  This is a significant problem in our city and frustrates shift supervisors who must call on other sectors for handling critical calls.  There is some evidence, at least in the minds of patrol officers, that criminals have learned to "play the system" in order to avoid incarceration.  Some have even walked away from these facilities since medical personnel refuse to allow "patients" to be secured.
CONCLUSIONS

We see staffing of the police department and dealing with the parole population and career criminals of our city as a major challenge for this community and our leaders.  Police management must come to terms with the fact that we are part of the solution, not part of the problem.  City government should support us in this willingness to accept our share of responsibility to proposing needed changes and solutions.  That commitment can begin today at the direction of city council members.

POTENTIAL EXHIBITS:

Maps, overheads, video testimony and reports that have been requested from the police department.
 

20.  We can offer an example with 1808 H Street where the management was on a subsidy program while 80% of the tenants were receiving benefits while engaging in crime.  That file is available to any staff member interested in a community based POP project that took dozens of criminal off the street in two years, in a 10 unit apartment building.
ATTACHMENT A - Recommended for distribution to community based organizations.
 

The following is information related to the impact of parolees and parolees at-large:
 

  • In Sacramento County, there are almost four thousand parolees. Because of a number of reasons that include affordable housing and social services delivered in the City of Sacramento, nearly half of these parolees (46%) reside within the City limits.
  • Although parolees are less than one percent (0.53%) of the City's population, they represented an average of ten percent (10%) of the bookings into the Sacramento County Jail.
  • In 1998, the Police Department booked an average of 5.2 parolees per day. Moreover, Sacramento Police Officers arrested arid booked 1,899 parolees in 1998, 57 more than the number of active" or supervised parolees residing in the City of Sacramento.
  • During 1998, Sacramento experienced a dramatic criminal impact associated with violent parolees including the recent shooting of Officer Bill Bean, Jr. who was killed in the line of duty by a parolee at-large.
  • Also during 1998, two other officers were shot and wounded by parolees. Seven other parolees were involved in violent confrontations and were subsequently shot by Sacramento Police Officers.
  • According to the California Department of Corrections, Parole Division, the current ratio of parolees to parole agents is 80-1. A significant increase in the size of caseloads occurred when the State of California reduced the number of parole agents. Prior to 1993, parole agents managed an average of 50 caseloads.
  • In California, the recidivism rate for subjects on parole is approximately 70%.
  • Due to caseloads, the Sacramento County District Attorney's office often dismisses felony charges, such as a violation of 12021 PC (felon in possession of a firearm) against parolees and refer the matter to the Board of Prison terms for a parole revocation hearing.  The maximum sentence that can be served for a parole revocation is 12 months.  Due to an entitlement of "good time" the actual time will rarely be more than six months, and more frequently is only one to three months.


ATTACHMENT B:  Trust Account Summary - Loaves & Fishes

Click on image to view full size exhibit