The California Parole Apprehension Team (CPAT) – created as part of the Governor’s parole reforms – in less than 8 months has arrested or located 2,598 parolees-at-large, a record for the fastest and largest reduction of fleeing offenders in state history.
The number of parolees who have absconded parole supervision and are currently at large in California has decreased from 15,927 when CPAT units were formed in January, 2010 to 13,329 by mid-August.
The current number of 13,329 active parolees-at-large (PALs) is also the lowest in at least 15 years. By comparison, the highest number of PALs in California occurred in 2003 when there were 19,954.
The establishment of CPAT is part of the recent parole reforms by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that directs more intense focus on those individuals that pose the most risk to public safety.
“This is a significant and ongoing victory for public safety,” said CDCR’s Division of Adult Parole Operations Director Robert Ambroselli, who oversees the unit. “Dedicated parole agents and staff work tirelessly every day to protect Californians. Parole reforms have allowed us to focus on the most serious offenders who are highest risk for potentially harming someone in the public.”
The new apprehension team was created in part through a reallocation of resources made possible by recent parole reforms. CPAT team members have received extensive training in fugitive apprehension, database searches, social networking, field tactics and firearms training at CDCR’s Office of Correctional Safety Academy. CDCR has equipped CPAT with computer technology to help seek and find high-risk PALs, including locating deceased PALs or those taken into custody in other states. CPAT teams consist of a Regional Intelligence (Intel) Unit located in each of four regional offices and multiple field apprehension teams spread throughout the regions.