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Criminals Removing GPS Bracelets

Los Angeles Politician Talks GPS Tracking

When a politician talks about GPS monitoring systems they are usually discussing how the satellite technology can improve city fleet operations. However, it is law enforcement applications of GPS to observe the activity of parolees that has Senator Ted Lieu concerned. What has the Senator from the state of California is concerned about is the oversight failure caused by the use of GPS bracelets.

GPS monitoring bracelets are frequently used by the judicial system to observe what criminals on parole are doing post-incarnation to ensure their transition back into society and a life free of crime. Many of these parolees are under a number of different restrictions, including curfews and travel boundaries. The tracking bracelets basically record every place the parolee goes and can even alert authorities if a parolee leaves the city or state. Not to mention, if the parolee is late for curfew. However, GPS monitoring technology is far from perfect because it is human imperfections that are causing the issue concerning Senator Lieu.

What has Senator Lieu upset is that roughly 800 parolees accounted for in the state database for those under GPS bracelet surveillance are essentially not being monitored. This means that either the GPS tracking systems are malfunctioning or, the more likely answer, have been taking off by the people wearing the GPS bracelets. “Tracking bracelets that use GPS are excellent tools for monitoring parolees, but the technology does absolutely no good if the people in charge of paying attention to the real-time GPS data aren’t doing their jobs”, a specialist for a California vehicle monitoring company.

The problem that Lieu stated was that when a parolee cuts or removes their GPS bracelet they are committing a parole violation that should land the individual behind bars for an additional 180 days. Although this seems like a simple open and close case of punishing those that remove their tracking systems, there are many more added complexities to the situation. For example, of those roughly 800 parolees it is estimated nearly 300 are in the greater Los Angeles area, a region where crowded prisons are a significant problem. This has resulted in many parole violators never seeing any additional jail time because of California’s realignment policy. Lieu plans to change this broken policy by drafting legislation that makes it a felony for any persons on parolee to cut or remove their state-mandated tracking systems.

Are you concerned that GPS bracelets designed to provide real-time locational information of parolee activity are consistently going unobserved in the state of California?

Will the introduction of legislation that makes unauthorized removal of tracking bracelet systems a felony offense cure the problem of GPS oversight failure?

News Source: Southern California Public Radio

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