N.J. parole officers fall short on supervisory duty, audit finds

New Jersey officials are reacting to a report by state Auditor Stephen Eells showing parole officers aren’t performing all the required monthly supervision of sex offenders and other parolees.

Some parolees were not home when officers made random visits to monitor their activities, said David Thomas, executive director of the state parole board.

Exceeding the 30-day standard for the face-to-face contacts does not pose a potential threat to public safety, Thomas said Wednesday.

“Nobody fell through the cracks. We knew where everybody was. It wasn’t something as egregious as we haven’t supervised this person in six months,” he said. “So, I mean literally, if we didn’t know where a person was, we would issue a warrant immediately on that person.”

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State Sen. Linda Greenstein, however, said she’s deeply concerned with the auditor’s report. She says capping the number of sex offenders a parole officer supervises could be a solution.

“Now I understand that there are always budget issues, and that’s always a consideration, but even working within the strictures of the state budget as it is right now, we need to find out how we can make sure that there’s more face-to-face contract between parolees and their parole officers,” said Greenstein, D-Middlesex.

The audit was conducted between July 1, 2011, and Aug. 30, 2013.

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