Home>Governor>Opposition Grows Against State Parole Placement Of Sexual Predators In Residential Neighborhood

Senator Brian Jones. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Opposition Grows Against State Parole Placement Of Sexual Predators In Residential Neighborhood

Lawmakers call on Governor Newsom to give special “parole-in-trailer” orders

By Evan Symon, April 16, 2021 6:05 pm

More state lawmakers joined the growing protest against the parole placement of two sexually violent predators in Mt. Helix in San Diego County.

Many have come out against the parole and release of child sexual predators Douglas Badger and Merle Wakefield into the residential neighborhood of Mt. Helix. Due to their records, and fear that they may commit the crimes again while on parole, lawmakers, led by Senator Brian Jones (R-Santee), have instead proposed that they finish their parole in trailers on the grounds of state prisons as an extra cautionary step.

Criminals in past decades had previously received parole-in-trailer orders by former Governors in lieu of community parole placement. In 1987, a convicted torturer and rapist, Lawrence Singleton, had been directly denied traditional parole in the Bay Area by then-Governor George Deukmejian and was instead sent to live out his parole in a trailer on the grounds of San Quentin State Prison. Seven years later, in 1994, the same alternate parole was given again. Then-Governor Pete Wilson stopped the parole of serial rapist Melvin Carter in the Bay area and instead ordered him to finish out his parole sentence in a trailer at Devil’s Garden Fire Conservation Camp.

Following their lead, lawmakers are now asking that Governor Gavin Newsom do the same for the two criminals.

“Neither Douglas Badger or Merle Wakefield are suitable to be released from secure state facilities, let alone dumping them in a residential neighborhood in Mt. Helix,” stated Senator Jones on Friday. “Both are dangerous sexually violent predators who have repeatedly targeted and attacked children. Rather than renting a spacious home to serve as a boarding house for these people, Governor Newsom ought to follow the lead of former governors Pete Wilson and George Deukmejian. Both of these Governors got creative and ordered that dangerous parolees be housed in trailers at state correctional facilities.”

Those opposing Mt. Helix release have also sent in letters, wrote bills to stop early parole for sexual violent criminals

In addition to supporting the trailer effort, Senator Jones has also taken several steps this year to prevent sexually violent criminals from getting an early release from prison. This has included sending several letters to the Director of the Department of State Hospitals to protest their placement in Mt. Helix and authoring Senate Bill 445, which would remove the eligibility of early parole for elderly convicted rapists and sex offenders.

“A lot of people don’t want convicted sex offenders who are out on parole in their neighborhoods,” explained Juan Higuera, a former prisoner in Los Angeles who assists recently released prisoners in finding jobs and housing, to the Globe.  “Except for specified cases, sex offenders in California can live near schools. The [California Supreme Court] actually overturned the law that stopped that from happening. So when I get someone who is on the sex offender registry needing help in finding an apartment or place to stay, there is nothing legally stopping them.

“In this case, these guys are out on parole, which has different rules, so they are being placed by the state there.”

“They can be moved specially by the Governor, but in my nearly 20 years of doing this, I can’t recall that happening. It’s been a while.

“And look, a lot of these people just want to resume their lives, but there have also been cases of former prisoners doing it again. And that’s awful. So you can get why when any parole or release like this happens, a lot of people become up in arms and do everything they can to keep them out.

“But these cases actually have politicians being against moving them to somewhere in their district. When that happens, you usually see more significant action taking place. It’s interesting.”

Douglas Badger’s placement is due to be held in San Diego County Superior Court on April 20th, followed by Merle Wakefield on May 10th. SB 445 will be heard in the Senate Public Safety Committee hearing on April 27th.

Sen. Jones has yet to receive a response back from his letters to the Newsom Administration so he is encouraging concerned residents to email or call the San Diego County Superior Court that is holding a hearing on Douglas Badger’s placement on Tuesday, April 20 and the placement of Merle Wakefield on Monday, May 10, he said in a statement Friday.

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8 thoughts on “Opposition Grows Against State Parole Placement Of Sexual Predators In Residential Neighborhood

  1. Thank you for this write-up. This is right down the street from my home. I fear for my teen daughter and young son as well as countless numbers of children who live directly around this home. This is a normal residential area! There are schools and daycares within short walks! SVPs are MUCH more of a danger than sex offenders. We have been working tirelessly to address this in our community as well as the citizens of the City of El Cajon which is right down the hill. Many vulnerable people in our communities! Both very dense with teens and children. It’s unconscionable and infuriating there was and is no transparency in this process. These SVP diagnosed men are likely to commit new offenses and present substantial danger around the types of victims they traumatized. Put these men far away from our families!

  2. Comrades
    The devil’s work…..destroying everything you worked to own/protect. Honestly, I cannot think of anything Democrats propose, implement that isn’t destroying life as we have cherished.

  3. there was a case just like this on the east coast and the neighborhood rallied together and protested outside his house for a couple of weeks until he moved out.

  4. I really softened my stance on sex offender laws when I had to work with a gentleman who had been targeted for law enforcement due to homosexuality by the LAPD for a public park hookup. He was 24 at the time, and solicited from a 17 year old LAPD informant – that lead to a 25 year kafkaesque legal hell and registration as a sex offender, when he was clearly not a predator – just horny one night back in the 80’s. In the prison system, individuals labeled as “sexual predators” are really mistreated in prison without any consideration of context, and I don’t see how this can lead to rehabilitation. There are no easy answers here, but I just want to put out a call: let’s look at the person, not glittering generalities when it comes to policy.

    1. Thomas, I share your concerns, but if you look at Mr. Badger’s criminal history fully documented (it has not been published by the press) his numerous prior convictions and the nature of them, which one can hardly bear to read, and the number of victims who were sexually assaulted and threatened with death including having a loaded gun held to the head during the entire sexually violent encounter, there is no question, about this individual. He is not merely labeled a ‘sexual predator’. He has been adjudicated as a Sexually Violent Predator by the Court system, which made the specific required findings under the SVP statute. The psychiatric diagnosis which is a part of the SVP Act in Mr. Badger’s case is “sexual sadism.” There are no glittering generalities here. Only great risk.

  5. I have been in Alcoholics Anonymous for 34 years and a few years ago I remember listening to a man share his story in a meeting. He said at an earlier meeting that he had gone to prison for child molestation. He probably figured we wouldn’t put two and two together. During his share he told us that he did not have a problem with alcohol, but was advised by the placement counselor in prison to say he was an alcoholic so that he could be placed in an “SLE,” which is a “sober living environment.”

    But this is nothing new with the State of California and the counties. They’ve been manipulating and using Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous for years now. They use AA and NA like a “get out of jail free” card, then ask the AA and NA meetings to mark a card for the parolee or probationer. I’ve been in meetings where there are 75 people – 72 with cards and 3 people with any length of sobriety. What do you think that does for people who have come in on their own looking for the self help available there to have the room filled up with people who don’t want to get and stay sober?

    We are ruled by the 12 Traditions and in the 3rd Trad it states, “The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking.” When they fill up the rooms with people who were forced to be there by the court it breaks the ONLY REQUIREMENT for membership. IE, you can be old, young, fat, skinny, smart, stupid, educated, uneducated, have money, or no money, be gay, bi, trans, any race, ANYONE – as long as you want to be sober. So the State has forced the people into the meetings and thereby broken the only requirement for membership.

    The 10th Tradition states that “Alcoholics Anonymous has no opinion on outside issues, hence the AA name ought never be drawn into public controversy.” This means nobody is going to argue with the State – and the State knows this. These govt people have this all figured out. Except the part where they are absolutely RUINING the only place people can get sober for free. It worked beautifully for over 75 years, but in my own opinion the State has ruined the program now. Ruined the program when we need people to stay sober. Think about that.

    This is a Democrat run state that could not care less about the tax paying citizens. The sooner we all realize that, the better, because you cannot solve a problem you don’t acknowledge. And the dumping of sex predators from the prisons did not just start – its been going on for years. I live in a rural county in California that was once a wonderful place – Mayberry RFD. Now we’ve got the drug addicted homeless here after having been bum bombed from the cities, the rapists and molesters have been shipped into this county, and we have crime and lack of safety.

    Don’t like it? Don’t keep voting the same people into office.

    1. Congrats on your sobriety!! I so appreciate your perspective! Self help vs court appointed attendees at AA meetings are always a struggle. Met with judgment in a very fragile environment. People like yourself with 34 years of sobriety, should wrap their arms around the court appointed attendees, try to educate them, show them how a sober life looks, show them hope. Even if only ONE of those court appointed attendees follows your lead, you probably saved many, many lives. I am just saying, a get out of jail free card got me sober in a court appointed AA meeting. Keep an open mind, maybe redo your steps!

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