Antelope Valley Press
“How does an ankle bracelet prevent rape? It doesn’t. It doesn’t incapacitate them or prevent one from committing crimes.” – Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich
To prevent failures in Los Angeles County’s ability to monitor probationers, an amendment by Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich directs the County Probation Department to conduct a thorough audit of its contracts for electronic monitoring and GPS services.
“Despite inherent weaknesses with electronic monitoring, it is imperative that the county ensure that the contractor’s equipment and monitoring services meet our standards and expectations,” said Antonovich, who represents the Los Angeles County portion of the Antelope Valley.
The Probation Department has recently identified problems associated with the services performed under one of the three contracts the county currently has for electronic monitoring and GPS services.
The supervisor’s motion will include monthly contract compliance reports; board authorization prior to exercising the option to extend this contract at the end of the one-year base term; a review of the terms and conditions of each contract; and recommendations that streamline and improve the delivery of these contracted services.
The Probation Department will report back to the Board in 90 days.
So far in the Antelope Valley, preliminary information shows three people on parole who have cut off their ankle bracelets. Two were registered sex offenders. Ankle bracelets are a form of supervision after an person has served a certain amount of time in state prison. The cases, however, are different for each person.
Antonovich spoke about the lack of usefulness of an ankle bracelet when speaking of serial rapist Christopher Evans Hubbart, who is set to be released into Los Angeles County with an ankle bracelet after being deemed unlikely to re-offend by a Coalinga State Hospital medical director, psychologist and attorney.
Hubbart was convicted of sexually assaulting and raping 40 women from 1971 to 1982.
Recent protests by Lake Los Angeles residents appear to have blocked Hubbart’s release to that town in unincorporated Los Angeles County, but residents remain wary. And Antonovich, as area representative, is skeptical about electronic monitoring.
“How does an ankle bracelet prevent rape? It doesn’t,” Antonovich said. “It doesn’t incapacitate them or prevent one from committing crimes.”
Hubbart was arrested in 1972 in Los Angeles and was later deemed a “mentally disordered sex offender” and sent for treatment to Atascadero State Hospital.
Doctors determined in 1979 that Hubbart posed no further threat, and he was released from custody.
He then moved to the San Francisco Bay area and over the next two years raped 15 more women, court documents say.
Hubbart was sentenced to 16 years in prison in 1982 after he was convicted on various counts of burglary, false imprisonment and rape.
Hubbart was paroled in 1990, but shortly after his release was returned to prison after he tried to grab a woman in Santa Clara County.
According to a study, “Monitoring High-Risk Sex Offenders: An Evaluation of the California Supervision Program,” posted on cdcr.ca.gov, those subjected to GPS devices have demonstrated a better outcome for compliance and recidivism.
As far as cost, the study says, “cost analysis indicates that the GPS program costs roughly $35.96 per day per parolee, while the cost of traditional supervision is $27.45 per day per parolee, a difference of $8.51.
“However, the results favor the GPS group in terms of both noncompliance and recidivism. In other words, the GPS monitoring program is more expensive but more effective.”
Ankle bracelets aren’t only for parolees, however, but also for probationers, some of them under the state’s AB 109 Realignment Program, which was signed by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011.
The realignment program was intended to reduce the number of inmates in state prisons by transferring low-risk inmates from state prison to county jails.
Preliminary information shows that 43,000 prisoners are serving their time at jails when 14,337 were sentenced to Los Angeles County jails, a press release by Antonovich said.