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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 158150 Find in a Library
Title: An Old Problem, A New Approach: San Jose's Habitual Offender Tracking Team
Journal: Police Chief  Volume:62  Issue:10  Dated:(October 1995)  Pages:90,93,94
Author(s): S D'Arcy
Date Published: 1995
Page Count: 3
Sponsoring Agency: National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America
Type: Program Description (Demonstrative)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The Habitual Offender Tracking (HOT) Team was a 4-month experiment conducted in 1994 and designed to approach an old problem from a new direction; it was conceived and implemented as a proactive community policing project of the police department of San Jose, Calif.
Abstract: San Jose has more than 400 sex offenders who have committed multiple sexual crimes on either children or adults and, according to the California State Department of Justice Sexual Habitual Offender Program, are likely to reoffend. Traditional methods of dealing with these violent habitual offenders through probation and parole have had little success due to the huge caseloads. Using four police officers and one support person, the HOT Team's mission was to closely monitor the actions of selected offenders and sex registrants in San Jose. The team's job was simply to stalk the stalkers and stop them before they could attack again. The team initiated 115 separate cases; arrests were for child molesting, child pornography, drug law offenses, and illegal firearms. Publicity about the program led some sex offenders to move to other areas where authorities were unaware of their criminal backgrounds. The proactive approach of sex offender monitoring, address verification, selected surveillance, and parole and probation searches produced positive results for San Jose, but was expensive in personnel and other resources. Future solutions to the problem of sexual predators may lie in a combined local, State, and Federal approach that makes communities safer by holding known sexual offenders strictly accountable for their behavior.
Main Term(s): Community policing
Index Term(s): California; Crime Control Programs; Habitual offenders; Sex offenders; Surveillance
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