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California Makes Policy Change on Parole Records

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By Kamika Dunlap on March 10, 2010 2:30 PM

California will no longer shred sex offenders' parole records as a part of the state's new policy change.

Instead of destroying parole records of sex offenders, the state will make contents accessible to the public.

Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger ordered state corrections officials to stop destroying the parole files and retain information on sex offenders, the Sacramento Bee reports.

In a statement the governor said it was in the best interest of public safety to keep information and make it transparent and available.

A law suit filed by the Sacramento Bee forcing corrections officials to turn over the parole records of kidnap and rape suspect Phillip Garrido  is part of what prompted the new policy change.

As previously discussed, 45-page report by the California Inspector General's Office lays the blame on the state's department of Corrections, saying it repeatedly failed to supervise and train the agents responsible for Garrido.

Garrido and his wife, Nancy, have pleaded not guilty to 29 counts related to 1991 Dugard's abduction, rape and imprisonment, as previously discussed.

At issue, also are the parole records of a John Gardner, the registered sex offender accused of murdering San Diego teenager Chelsea King. His records were shredded last fall after he completed three years of parole supervision.

The state's old policy of discarding dates back to 2008. Officials routinely shredded the files of parolees one year after they had been discharged from parole.

Before that, the department destroyed parolee files four to six months after discharge.

Parole agents' notes regarding supervision as well as records of any violations were kept in the files.

Going forward the state will work to centralize and store files. Currently, there are about 110,000 parolees in California on any given day, including 9,000 sex offenders.

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