Good News, We Think…

Anthony Pignataro:

We’re kinda torn on whether to celebrate this one: “The California Parole Apprehension Team (CPAT) — created as part of the Governor’s parole reforms — in less than 8 months has arrested or located 2,598 parolees-at-large, a record for the fastest and largest reduction of fleeing offenders in state history,” reads this official California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation press release sent out today.

Now to be perfectly honest, our first reaction upon reading this, the release’s first paragraph,  was something akin to, “Yay! More than 2,500 convicted criminals who violated their terms of parole have been brought back to justice!” Who can argue with that?

But then our hearts sank upon reading the CDCR statement’s second paragraph:

“The number of parolees who have absconded parole supervision and are currently at large in California has decreased from 15,927 when CPAT units were formed in January, 2010 to 13,329 by mid-August.”

Okay, seriously: We’re supposed to be thrilled with the fact that there are still more than 13,000 parolees out there on the lam? We know that improvement is improvement — the current figure is the lowest number of parolees currently on the lam “in at least 15 years”! — but come on. And the third paragraph undermines the good news even more, saying that the highest number of parolees-at-large (hilariously labeled PALS by the Corrections Department) on record was 19,954 — a number that dwarfed even the 15,927 figure from eight months ago.

Posted Aug. 31, 2010

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