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One big joke: Ankle bracelets on sex offenders

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POSTED March 7, 2013 10:52 p.m.

Feeling safe and secure knowing there are felons out there with ankle bracelets on?

A 52-year-old San Jose woman isn’t.

She awoke in the wee hours of Tuesday morning to find 29-year-old registered sex offender Ryan Kamflot standing over her bed.

The woman managed to flee. As luck would have it, San Jose Police were in the neighborhood already due to a rise in burglaries. They were at the scene in 90 seconds. Kamflot was arrested after trying to pass himself off as a bystander.

Kamflot was wearing his ankle bracelet that parole officers were using to monitor his movements. He even had an app on his smartphone that allowed him to monitor police radio traffic.

Much ado is being made over a state Department of Corrections report that shows a 15 percent increase in the number of sex offenders that are unaccounted for since prison realignment went into effect 17 months ago. You remember prison realignment? It was the forced solution to concerns about prisoners not getting adequate health care and space brought to you by high-ranking judges who probably live in gated communities or apartment complex with security so they don’t have to worry too much about sex offenders with ankle bracelets roaming through their homes.

The furor over the state report is being focused on sex offenders on parole who cut off or disable GPS-linked ankle monitoring bracelets. The assumption is the only sex parolees with monitoring devices attached to their ankles that we have to worry about are the 2,706 that are accounted for after monkeying with the ankle bracelets.

Now out of San Jose there is a confirmed case of a sex offender who did not remove or disable his ankle bracelet being able to prey on people.

Parole was never a perfect transition before realignment. Now with the release of sexual offenders ahead of their original release times, doubling and tripling the load on parole agents while thinning their ranks at the same time we are being treated to state-sanctioned crime in our bedrooms.

Make no mistake about it. These are sex offenders that Sacramento kept assuring us were low risk. They weren’t rapists or child molesters, at least not yet. It’s funny how we argue that most killers graduate from petty crimes and work their way down the chain of depravity but we never hear bureaucratic types say the same thing about sex offenders.

If Kamflot and his ilk are low risk, one can start to understand the stampede to gun shops. A burglar violating the sanctity of your home when you’re not there is one thing. It is another thing completely to wake up with a sex offender standing over your bed. The fact he was wearing a functioning ankle monitoring bracelet probably didn’t make the 52-year-old San Jose woman feel safe.

So what is the state’s solution when a parole violator tampers with their ankle device? Once upon a time they went back to state prison for up to a year. The state did its magic, though and changed the laws saying they could be sentenced for up to six months in county jails.

Fat chance that will happen as most county jails are overcrowded. That means sex offenders who tamper with the ankle devices are released back on the streets within days.

Little wonder more folks don’t feel safer today than they did four years ago.

 

This column is the opinion of executive editor, Dennis Wyatt, and does not necessarily represent the opinion of The Bulletin or Morris Newspaper Corp. of CA.  He can be contacted at dwyatt@mantecabulletin.com or 209-249-3519.

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