What Would Hedge Placement Cost Taxpayers?

A judge ordered the state to find sexually violent predator Matthew Hedge a place to live in order to keep him off the streets.

"We argued vigorously that he was not ready to come back in the community," said deputy district attorney Phyllis Shess. "You can't put a price on public safety."

10News learned how much it could possibly cost taxpayers to keep the community safe from Hedge.

One option is a trailer on the grounds of Donovan Prison in Otay Mesa. Hedge lived in the trailer after his initial release in 2005. The estimated cost to taxpayers for the trailer is $44,000 a year for prison guard oversight.

If Hedge is placed on the outside, private security will be hired to watch his every move 24 hours a day/seven days a week. That would cost an estimated $800 a day, or $292,000 a year.

Placement on the prison grounds will save taxpayers about $50,000 a year in rent. The Donovan site is at least a mile from any homes, and there are no schools nearby.

If Hedge has the same restrictions imposed as 2005, he will have an 8 p.m. curfew and be monitored by a GPS tracking device. He would also need an escort off the property, whether it is at Donovan or community placement.

Either option is preferred by the task force that keeps check on 4,000 sex offenders around San Diego County.

"We prefer them in a residence because it's easier for us to monitor them versus being homeless," said S.A.F.E. commander Denise Felix.

The bottom line is safety.

Shess said, "We're concerned about keeping the public as safe as possible when these patients are released back into the community."