The editorial board at our sister paper, The Sacramento Bee, is justifiably taking after state and federal officials who are refusing to release parole documents relating to Phillip Garrido who is accused of kidnapping and raping Jaycee Dugard in 1991.
How Dugard went undetected for so long is of legitimate interest to a lot of people. But the government agencies are refusing to release records that would shed light on how often parole agents visited the home and whether they knew that a young woman was living there. (Strangely enough, federal authorities did release documents that lauded Garrido for “having responded positively to supervision.”)
The public deserves some answers about how a convicted kidnapper and rapist kept his prey hidden right under authorities’ noses. From the Bee’s editorial today:
In hiding behind obscure regulations to prevent release of information that is clearly of vital public interest, government agencies leave the appearance that their top priority is damage control. If the public has no opportunity to learn about the actions of parole agents, it will have no opportunity to improve the parole system, assuming any mistakes were made.