Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Thousands of paroled CA sex offenders, felons easily disable GPS monitors

ArsTechnica  A February 2013 investigation by the Los Angeles Times showed that “thousands” of high-risk sex offenders and parolees were routinely removing or disabling their GPS tracking devices. And these individuals have little risk of being caught because California's jails are apparently too full to hold them.

On Saturday, the Times revealed significant portions of previously-redacted documents from state reports on two rival GPS tracking device manufacturers (3M and Satellite Tracking of People [STOP], based in Houston). Last year, California judges concealed significant sections of these after state officials argued publicizing such information could inform potential violators and "erode public trust" in the system. The newly released information shows just how problematic the tracking anklets made by 3M were.

California began this statewide monitoring program in 2008, splitting the device contracts between 3M and STOP. More than a year ago, California began testing the monitors currently in place on the nearly 8,000 convicted-but-now-released sex offenders, parolees, and felons within the state. As the Times reported regarding the 3M devices, “Corrections officials found the devices used in half the state were so inaccurate and unreliable that the public was ‘in imminent danger.’” State officials immediately ordered a mass replacement of all 3M ankle monitors in use, opting instead for the STOP products.[...]

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