Monday, August 31, 2009
The discovery of Jaycee Dugard, the woman who was abducted when she was 11 from a bus stop in Lake Tahoe, NV, has raised many questions about the monitoring and sentencing of men like the one who kidnapped her, Phillip Garrido. Garrido was a convicted, violent sex offender at the time of Dugard's abduction. On parole, officers visited the Garrido home on several occasions and never discovered Dugard and her children living in the backyard. A neighbor even alerted the police that children were there. Police knocked on the front door, but never searched the home or yard.
Many experts believe violent sex offenders can never be rehabilitated and that the likelihood of them offending again is so high that there should be different standards to which they are held. Garrido's first documented offense in 1976 involved an elaborate hideout in Reno, NV where he assaulted a woman for hours after handcuffing and binding her with a leather strap.
Garrido was sentenced to 50 years in prison, but was released after just 10 on parole. Recent laws have made sentences tougher, violent offender's mandatory sentencing was raised from just 5 years to 35. However, advocates of tougher laws are pushing imprisonment and then treatment "for as long as it takes to rehabilitate" the violent offenders. And in some cases, they will never be rehabilitated, which mean, simply, they would never be released.