Earlier this week, the Tennessee’s Board of Probation and Parole reported that at “least 82 dead people on probation or parole were still alive” and actively being monitored via the States GPS tracking system.
“At times, the parole officers were merely checking on arrest records for the deceased parolees, while in other cases the officers claimed to have actually made contact with the person after their date of death.”
In one instance, an officer “documented contacting a parolee who, the comptroller’s office learned, had been dead for 19 years.” There have been 107 documented cases of such fraud.
While, initially, the comptroller’s office declined to identify individual officers responsible for the erroneous reports, two officers have been fired.
That is not good enough for State representatives, though. State lawmakers want to prosecute the employees who knowingly made false claims. State Sen. Kerry Roberts, R-Springfield wonders “How do we know how much of this is taking place, that we have people who are claiming to check on folks and they are not actually doing that?”
Comptroller Justin Wilson raised concerns about the use of public funds for the parolee program. “If parole officers are supervising dead people, this is a waste of taxpayer dollars and makes us wonder about the supervision of parolees living in our communities,” he said.
As a result of this scandal and public outcry, Department of Correction Assistant Commissioner Gary Tullock has submitted his resignation, effective immediately.
The Department of Correction has is now in the process of a “top to bottom review to see if anything else needs to be fixed and plans” and plans to retrain all staff by the end of the year to “better detect deceased offenders” being monitored by the GPS tracking system.
Sources: www.wbir.com/news/article/236963/2/Parolees-monitored-but-no-longer-alive and www.wlbt.com/story/19730213/lawmakers-question-parole-board-over-monitoring-dead-people. Photo: www.wbir.com/news/article/236963/2/Parolees-monitored-but-no-longer-alive