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Determination: Mostly True
Analysis: To save money, California will release thousands of prisoners earlier than they would have been in previous years. We wrote a story last week about the early release program, highlighting its potential affect on southeastern San Diego neighborhoods.
We emphasized that community because residents have expressed concern about an influx of parolees, citing an already large share of the county’s returning prisoners. For this Fact Check, we wanted to check out whether the area actually has more parolees per resident than other places.
As it turns out, southeastern San Diego does contain a higher concentration of parolees than the county average, but it’s certainly not the only place that does. Some neighborhoods have even denser pools of recently released prisoners.
To evaluate this statement, we asked the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to provide a list of parolee whereabouts by zip code. The data represents a snapshot of their registered addresses on April 15.
Then, we calculated a per capita rate using 2008 population estimates from the San Diego Association of Governments. Those rates are mapped in the graphic above. Areas with higher concentrations of parolees have darker shading.
Just to be clear, the zip codes do not perfectly follow the neighborhood boundaries that outline what most people call southeastern San Diego. They partly overlap other communities, but it’s the most accurate way to represent the state’s parolee data across the entire county.
On April 15, the county had about three parolees for every 1,000 residents. Southeastern San Diego had about six for every 1,000 residents. For the purposes of this analysis, we defined southeastern San Diego as including the 92102, 92113, 92114 and 92139 zip codes.
So southeastern San Diego had a large cluster of parolees, but as the map shows, it’s not the most shaded area. Numerous places carried a larger load of parolees than the county average.
In San Diego, the 92101 and 92110 zip codes had the highest concentration of parolees. Combined, those zip codes roughly cover downtown, the Midway District, Old Town and north to Bay Park. They had 15 parolees and 28 parolees per 1,000 residents, respectively.
Because the statement is factually accurate, but falls short of describing the entire county’s landscape of parolees, we’re calling the statement mostly true.
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— KEEGAN KYLE