MULTI-AGENCY LAW ENFORCEMENT OPERATION TARGETING
POST RELEASE COMMUNITY SUPERVISION OFFENDERS RESULTS IN 34 ARRESTS
HEMET – On Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2013, a law enforcement operation targeting Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) offenders in the city of Hemet and the surrounding unincorporated areas resulted in the arrests of 34 people.
The arrests included weapon- and drug-related charges as well as violations of probation. During the operation, one suspect wanted for questioning in a kidnapping was also found. The operation ran from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and was conducted by 68 law enforcement officers targeting individuals on PRCS, mandatory supervision, and parole. Of the 34 arrests, 32 were on new felony charges and two on misdemeanor charges. Also, 15 warrants will be issued to those found to fail to report a correct address. The operation on Wednesday was to locate any of those who may have absconded as well as make sure those on PRCS or on mandatory supervision from county jail are in compliance with the terms of their release.
As a result of legislation which went into effect on Oct. 1, 2011, commonly known as Public Safety Realignment, or Assembly Bill 109, offenders convicted of non-serious, non-violent, and non-registerable sex crimes are now being incarcerated in local jails instead of in state prison. Before realignment, offenders who were released were supervised by state parole agents but now they are on Post Release Community Supervision (PRCS) by county probation officers.
Because of the thousands of prisoners being released early from county jails, local law enforcement agencies created Post-Release Accountability Compliance Teams, or PACT. In Riverside County, the responsibilities of PACT have expanded to not only monitor PRCS releases from state prison but also convicted felons released from county jail on mandatory supervision. A primary mission of PACT is to work with local law enforcement agencies and the Riverside County Probation
Department to direct immediate focus on those “high-risk” and/or “at-large” PRCS offenders and those on mandatory supervision from county jail who pose the greatest risk to public safety.
“The work of PACT is a critical component necessary to ensure the success of public safety realignment in Riverside County,” said District Attorney Paul Zellerbach. “Riverside County has been one of the most negatively impacted counties in the state with respect to the early release of inmates from our county jails. Operations such as this one will help ensure the ongoing safety of the citizens of Riverside County.”
Hemet police Chief David Brown said: “I’m very proud of the interagency cooperation in dealing with the local impacts of realignment. The number of arrests in this operation highlights the fact that local communities are being negatively impacted by jail over-crowding and AB 109. The Hemet Police Department remains committed to the task force approach to dealing with realignment.”
There are three regional Post-Release Accountability Compliance Teams in Riverside County: one each in the Central, Eastern and Western regions. The operation Wednesday was initiated jointly by Deputy District Attorney Sharon Shuster, who is assigned to the DA’s PRCS Unit, along with the Probation Department, and Hemet police Sergeant Eddie Pust of Central PACT. Members of all three PACTs assisted, which are comprised of members of the DA’s Office, Riverside County Sheriff’s Department, Riverside County Probation Department, U.S. Border Patrol, and the Riverside, Corona, Murrieta, Palm Springs, Desert Hot Springs, Cathedral City, Indio and Beaumont police departments. Assisting in the operation were members of the sheriff’s Perris Special Enforcement Team, the county regional Gang Task Force and state parole agents.