Lawmaker demands answers after sex offender's 5th day on the run - Houston weather, traffic, news | FOX 26 | MyFoxHouston

Lawmaker demands answers after dangerous sex offender's 5th day on the run

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HOUSTON (FOX 26) -

In 2003, we uncovered a disturbing sight inside the Reid Center, a halfway house for paroled killers, rapists and child molesters.

A FOX 26 employee with a hidden camera went inside and captured what appeared to be crack smoking and open drug dealing inside the tax-funded halfway house, now called the Southeast Texas Transitional Center.

At the time, the company operating Reid vowed to make big changes.  Yet, within just a few months, we once again had our hidden camera back inside.

"Anytime somebody absconds, we're not providing the services that I think we should, that we're required to provide," Parole Director Stuart Jenkins said.

In 2011, FOX 26 Investigates decided to find out just how many dangerous criminals violated their parole by fleeing the halfway house.  According to state prison records in 2008, 2009 and 2010, 757 parolees ran off from the halfway house.

That number includes child molesters, rapists and killers.  Some have yet to be found.  John Enard is the most recent dangerous sex offender to take off a tracking device, jump the fence and flee.

"Kind of makes you uneasy," said Carl Durrenberger who lives just a half a mile away from the halfway house.  "Do they really have the security they should have?  Are they watching those people like they should be watching them?"

Enard is so dangerous; the state placed him under civil commitment, meaning his whereabouts are under constant monitoring.

"This is the second one in recent months," Texas Senator John Whitmire said.

In the last nine months, three sex offenders civilly committed to the halfway house ran off.

Whitmire has scheduled a public hearing for February.

"To publicly ask TDCJ officials, the parole officials that send people there, are they confident that this organization, this corporation is doing everything they should," Whitmire said.  "I don't want any shortcuts."

Geo Group Inc., which is paid tax money to operate the halfway house, did not respond to our numerous requests for comment.

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