Former Parole Agent: Dept of Corrections Dysfunctional and Broken
A history of precedent setting lawsuits and out-of-court-settlements


Dept of Corrections "broken"

Former Parole Agent: Dept of Corrections Dysfunctional and Broken
A history of precedent setting lawsuits and out-of-court-settlements

by Caroline Aguirre

(Caroline Aguirre is a retired parole agent. She served more than two decades with the California Department of Corrections.)


November 9, 2010

With the arrest of Phillip Garrido in August 2009, the entire nation learned how broken the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) had become.

Investigative findings by California State Inspector General David Shaw and the State Attorney's General' office concluded that a number of parole agents over a period of nine years had failed to do their jobs properly surrounding the parole supervision of Phillip Garrido. Garrido has been charged with the kidnapping and rape of Jaycee Dugard whom he held  hostage for 19 years.  For the last 10 years of Dugard's captivity, parole agents had made contact with Jaycee and her 2 minor children in the home and never followed up with an investigation.  A $20 million dollars settlement was paid to Dugard.

Several other civil law suits have been filed naming the CDCR as defendants surrounding the Dugard case.


After the arrest of Phillip Garrido, top Administrators of the CDCR and the Division of Adult Parole Operations (DAPO) Matthew Cate,  Scott Kernan and Robert Ambroselli openly stated to numerous news media outlets  that  parole agents had done such a good job.

Parolee, John Albert Gardner admitted to the horrific murders and rapes of both Amber Dubois and Chelsea King. In his investigative report, State Inspector General David Shaw said, "This report concludes that during the department's parole supervision of Gardner, it did not identify Gardner's aberrant behavior, including unlawfully entering the grounds of a state prison, a felony as well as numerous parole violations.

Had the department identified Gardner criminal act and parole violations, it could have referred them to the District Attorney's or the Board of Prison Hearings for appropriate actions. Successful prosecution of Gardner could have sent Gardner back to prison before he murdered Amber Dubois and Chelsea King."??

After Gardner's arrest, those same administrators told both state elected officials and the news media that all of the parole records on Gardner, who was a discharged parolee at the time of his arrest for the murders and rapes in San Diego, had been destroyed.  But, Central files are never destroyed. It was the San Diego Union Tribune that confronted these administrators about Gardner's prison Central file and demanded release of the files.

On July 24th, 2009 17 year-old Lily Burk was murdered by parolee, Charles Samuel in the Skid Row area of Los Angeles. Samuel admitted to the murder of Burk and received a life sentence without parole. The CDCR failed to address the fact that Samuel, who at the time of the murder of Burk, was residing in a residential drug treatment program and was out and about in the community.

A DAPO spokesperson told a news media reporter that Samuel had been given a written pass to go the Department of Motor Vehicles on the date in question and that the assigned parole agent of the Residential Drug Treatment program had verified all of the information on the request form for the pass. 

Only after Burk's murder, was it discovered that the Department of Motor Vehicles was closed on that particular date for a State mandated work furlough day. 

There was never an investigation of the parole agent who failed to verify all information before she allowed Samuel to leave the facility.

On July 24, 2010 bride to be, Chere Osmanhodzic, was murdered in her home in the Valley Village area of Los Angeles. Parolee Omar Armando Loera was identified as the murder suspect through DNA testing and was arrested in Mexico. He was later charged with the murder of Osmanhodzic.   Region 3 Parole Headquarters failed to verify if Loera had been deported to Mexico upon his release from state prison in a timely fashion.

Because of his documented criminal history, Loera was classified as a High Control Supervision case and verification should have been done immediately after his release date from state prison.  Instead those individuals assigned to the Region 3 USINS unit waited 3 months before doing their job. They also failed to update Loera's parole face sheet. The face sheet in question did not even have a photograph of Loera.  Had Region 3 parole administrators performed their assigned duties as per policy and procedure, Osmanhodzic might still be alive today. 

Region 3 Parole staff failed to make up Wanted Parolee At Large notices and failed to distribute them to local law enforcement agencies. As mandated by California Penal Code, parole agents must submit a request for arrest warrant when a parolee classified as high control supervision level fails to report to the parole unit office after 24 hours from their release date. This was not the case with parolee Loera.

Parole administrators have been quoted as stating that outside law enforcement personnel have the availability to check with the parole data base to find out which parolees have outstanding warrants for their arrest. There are over 120 thousand parolees on active parole status in California and it is ludicrous to believe that police officer have the time to check on each parolee's status.

On October 30, 2010 Parolee, Christopher Orlando Pinn armed with a TEC-9 made an attempt to kill a Los Angeles County Sheriff Deputy in the Lancaster area. Pinn was subsequently arrested on this same date and is now facing criminal charges of attempted Murder on a Peace Officer and Possession of an Assault Weapon.

Pinn is a documented hard-core gang member with a special condition of parole- he is prohibited from associating with any gang members and was on parole for Possession of Controlled Substance- a low level, non-violent criminal offense.  He was being supervised at one of the lowest levels of parole supervision. Pinn was classified as Prop. 36 Eligible due to the fact that he had no prior convictions for violent and or serious criminal offenses.

On October 31, 2010, 5 year-old Aaron Shannon Jr. was proudly wearing his new Spider Man costume for Halloween in the back yard of his home located on East 84th Street when he was gunned down by one or two suspected gang members.  

On November 5, the Los Angeles Police Department held a press conference where they announced the arrests of two suspects- 18 year-old Marcus Denson and 21 year-old Leonard Hall both documented Kitchen Crip gang members. Both will be charged with the Murder of Aaron Shannon Jr.

On the date and time of this horrific murder of an innocent small child, Leonard Hall was on Active Parole Supervision for Possession of Controlled Substance and Disregard for Safety. He was being supervised at next to the lowest level of parole supervision- Control Service out of the Huntington Park 2 parole unit.  Hall also had a Special Condition of Parole- prohibition of association with known Kitchen Crips Gang Members.  

On 10-15-2010 Hall was arrested for Robbery as per parole documentation and his parole hold was removed one day after the probable cause determination on 10-19-2010. No formal criminal charges were filed and Hall was released from local custody on 10-22-2010. No one knows if the assigned parole agent completed an investigation in one day, prior to the removal of the parole hold.

Review of Hall's parole face sheet notes that he is a documented hard-core Kitchen Crip gang member with a history of Battery on a Police Officer. It is troubling to think another child might still be alive had parole agents followed proper procedure.

Public Safety is no longer a concern and a priority for the CDCR and DAPO. The focus appears to be that surrounding parolee classification ratings and its correlation to expenditures, namely overtime costs.  One Parole Administrator goes as far to state that less parole supervision can be a form of positive reinforcement in the long run and only enhance  and encourage the parolee to remain free of involvement in new criminal behavior.

It was a lax parole supervision policy that allowed Hall to continue to associate with his Home Boys, have possession of a loaded firearm and then take the life of an innocent 5 year-old child.

Bruce Maiman, former radio host penned a piece for the Sacramento Bee in July  in which he said, “Transparency and accountability are the two things we often cite as our most vexing frustrations with government. In the Dugard case, we paid $20 million without any acknowledgement by the state that our parole system will be reformed to insure the most risky parolees are properly tracked. 

We don't even know what the state has done with those responsible for Dugard's ordeal and we don't know what the state is doing to prevent a repeat.

Meanwhile, we've now set a precedent to who knows how many future lawsuits and out-of-court-settlements.”


Killings of a Riverside police officer and a five-year-old boy raise more questions about the adequacy of parole supervision

by LAPPL Board of Directors

November 10, 2010

As we mourn the shooting death of Riverside Police Officer Ryan P. Bonaminio, we are grateful an arrest has been made by police and FBI agents. The suspect, 44-year-old Earl Ellis Green of Rubidoux, was arrested at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at a Riverside Target store. He was booked for murder and a parole violation. He is being held at a Riverside detention center without bail and could face charges making him eligible for the death penalty.

Green's apprehension is welcome news, but we are nevertheless very troubled by the strong possibility that a properly functioning state parole system might have prevented the tragic killing of a police officer. This has been our worst fear since state budget cuts prompted a dangerous relaxation of parole guidelines.

Green has a long criminal history spanning almost three decades that includes convictions for domestic violence, battery of a police officer, drug dealing and vehicle theft. In 2007, Green was found guilty of felony vandalism and sentenced to three years in state prison, but served fewer than 20 months. He was released as a low level, non-violent parolee with the next-to-lowest level of supervision. Hardly a non-violent person, even Green's own family had recently sought a restraining order against him, according to a KNX report.

These facts raise two important questions for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) that warrant complete and honest answers.

  1. Why was parolee Earl Ellis Green, who was on parole for domestic violence and who also had an extensive criminal arrest history, designated a low level, non-violent criminal and subsequently assigned to the next-to-lowest level of parole supervision?
  2. Does the CDCR consider domestic violence to be a violent offense and if not, why not?

In a separate case that also calls into question the adequacy of current parole supervision, retired parole agent Caroline Aguirre, blogging (above), says that on the date and time of the Halloween murder of five-year-old Aaron Shannon Jr., “…one of his accused killers, Leonard Hall, was on Active Parole Supervision for Possession of Controlled Substance and Disregard for Safety.” Like Earl Ellis Green, Hall, too, “…was being supervised at next to the lowest level of parole.” Aguirre also adds that, “Hall, 21, had a special condition of parole that forbid [sic] him to associate with known [gang] members like Marcus Denson, 18, his alleged accomplice in the murder of this innocent child.”

According to the Ron Kaye blog, a march and rally will be held in El Sereno from 1974 N. Marianna Ave. to the 1800 block of Landsdowne Ave. at 1:30 p.m. this Saturday to demand an investigation of the Division of Adult Parole Operations and that those responsible for the breakdown in parole supervision be held accountable. Attorney Robin Sax, a former county prosecutor and expert on rape and child molestation issues, will be the featured speaker.