OIG: Electronic Monitoring Program 'almost a total failure' - FOX 8, WVUE, fox8live.com, weather, app, news, saints

OIG: Electronic Monitoring Program 'almost a total failure'

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The city's inspector general says the electronic monitoring program run by the Orleans Parish Sheriff's Office is a failure.

After evaluating 281 people wearing ankle bracelets from April through September of 2012, Ed Quatreveaux says his investigators found sloppy record-keeping and lax supervision.

“Exclusion zones are stay-away orders. It's when the judge says you can't go to so and so's house. They entered two of 37 contained in the files we examined - only two,” says Quatreveaux.

In more than half of the cases where defendants left their restricted zone, Quatreveaux says it's unclear what, if any, action was taken by deputies.

“What the inspector general did was present a very accurate, detailed picture of some of the problems that were in the electronic monitoring program in 2012, but it doesn't accurately reflect the conditions of that program today,” says Rafael Goyeneche with the Metropolitan Crime Commission.

Goyeneche says changes were made to the system when the National Institute of Justice issued a report in November of 2012.

“Many of those issues were fixed in 2013,” says Goyeneche.

“I know that is not the case," counters Quatreveaux."We examined some files in 2013 as well, after that study, and nothing changed.” 

Councilman Jason Williams called the findings disturbing, but says he'd like to take a closer look at the documents.

“There's certainly a dropping of the ball somewhere. I guess we have to figure out where that was,” says Williams.

The Sheriff's Office has said it will no longer oversee the program after Jan. 2, leaving the city to come up with an alternative.

“What I'd like to see happen is to continue the program and have the it maintained by the New Orleans Police Department,” says Williams.

Goyeneche, though, points out the NOPD is dealing with a manpower shortage. He also says overseeing the system will require cooperation from the entire criminal justice system.

“The sheriff doesn't arrest them. The sheriff doesn't place them on a monitor. The judges do that, so we need all of those components to do their part,” says Goyeneche.

Quatreveaux believes taking it out of the sheriff's hands is a good idea. City Council President Stacy Head says she too believes the NOPD should take over the program.

Sheriff Marlin Gusman refused to talk on camera about the report, but released a statement saying the OIG exaggerated the findings and called it political grandstanding. The OIG denied those allegations, pointing out that he is not a politician.

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