CUYAHOGA COUNTY Paroles boost number of sex offenders

CLEVELAND (AP) -- More than 530 sex offenders have settled in Cuyahoga County in the past year, straining law enforcement who must track the offenders and making some citizens worry about safety in their neighborhoods.
The latest offenders are in addition to the 1,130 who already lived there. There are more sex offenders in Cuyahoga than any other county in the state, says Lt. Robert Havranek, who runs the Cuyahoga County Sheriff's Sex Offender Unit.
The latest influx is due to more paroles as a result of a 2001 Ohio Supreme Court decision. The court said the state's Parole Board was unfairly keeping inmates incarcerated based on the crimes they were accused of, instead of the crimes for which they were convicted.
The releases frustrated prosecutors, who said they didn't have enough time to oppose them. They also said victims in the sometimes decades-old cases couldn't be found and alerted.
Charles Clovis, an assistant state public defender, is fighting for the release of thousands more inmates. He said many of the recently released men were imprisoned two or three times longer than they should have been.

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