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Officials check on San Diego County probationers; results mixed

September 22, 2012 | 11:02 am

Under California's "realignment" program for its overcrowded prison system, nonviolent offenders are being sent back to their home counties on probation -- more than 2,000 in the past year to San Diego County.

County probation officials say they are concerned that these former prisoners are frequently more criminally sophisticated and at greater risk to re-offend than other people on probation.

To see how well former state prisoners and other high-risk probationers are behaving, a team of 85 sheriff's deputies, local police and armed probation officers paid unannounced visits this week on 75 individuals in eastern San Diego County.

Of the 75, 10 were arrested for violating the terms of their probation by possessing weapons, drugs and/or drug paraphernalia, officials said. Five others were arrested on suspicion of new crimes.

Knives, firearms, ammunition and quantities of methamphetamine and marijuana were seized, officials said, along with marijuana "bongs." 

In one case, a sex offender was found holding a baby, prohibited by his probation terms. The child was not harmed, according to chief probation officer Mack Jenkins.

More unannounced compliance checks are planned, Jenkins said.

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-- Tony Perry in San Diego

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