Sex Offender Cases Slipping Through the Cracks?

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A state report released this week blasted corrections officials for missing chances to catch the sex offender accused of holding Jaycee Dugard captive in California for 18 years.
    
In Cleveland, Ohio, the body count in the case of a registered sex offender, and now accused serial killer, continues to rise. 
    
Both cases have many asking if law enforcement nationwide has enough resources to keep cases from slipping through the cracks and to deal with sex offenders once they are back on the street.

In a Cleveland church, Thursday, people gathered to pray for the 11 mostly unidentified victims found inside the home of registered sex offender Anthony Sowell.

"This is no time for you and us to point the finger of blame at anyone," said Pastor Rodney Maiden of Providence Baptist Church.

But some in the community are pointing fingers.

"No one ever knew about him being a predator," said neighbor Raymond Cash. "The system dropped the ball on that."  

There are 3,4000 registered sex offenders in the county where Sowell lived and just eight officers to track them. 
    
It is a similar story across the country. 

"The system that we have to do monitoring supervision follow up once they return to the community is just overwhelmed," said Ernie Allen of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

Officials say parole officers across the country may be missing clues to other cases because they are overworked.

"I think that in any job, if you are being tasked on an ongoing basis, that the chances are you screwing up on your job increase," said Carl Wicklund, executive director of the American Probation and Parole Association.

Convicted sex offender Phillip Garrido is accused of holding Jaycee Dugard captive in his California backyard for 18 years despite being under the supervision of parole agents.
    
The 45-page report from the state inspector general shows how corrections officials missed finding Jaycee Dugard on not one, or two, or even a dozen visits to the Garrido home. They missed her on 60 visits over a ten year period.

"We determined that Garrido was only properly supervised 12 out of the 123 months it supervised him," said Calif. inspector general David Shaw. "That's a failure rate of 90 per cent."  

The head of the state's Department of Corrections vowed to do better.
    
Still a state investigation found that the tangled mess of power and phone lines going into the backyard should have raised suspicions, along with alerts sent by Garrido's GPS monitoring device.
    
The state report showed neighbors were ignored too. 
    
In 1991, a neighbor reported speaking to a young blond girl who said her name was Jaycee through a fence.
    
In 2006, a neighbor called police reporting that children were living in tents in the backyard and they were concerned because the "neighbor has a sexual addiction."

In both cases clues were ignored allowing dangerous predators the freedom to continue to victimize innocent people.

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