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California

Penalties sought for parolees cutting GPS monitors

SACRAMENTO (KGO) — Those GPS ankle bracelets that monitor some California parolees are not as effective as they could be. And that’s because some convicted sex offenders and gang members are cutting off the devices and getting away with it.

Authorities say 48-year-old repeat sex offender _____ ______ cut off his GPS ankle bracelet in November and days later he was charged with the sexual battery of a Fresno State student at the campus library.

“What I care about is that we get these criminals back behind bars,” Assm. Jim Patterson, R-Fresno said. “Because I don’t want someone else’s daughter to be molested in a library at a university.” Full Article

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  1. Kathy G.

    Isn’t anyone going to point out that these stupid things don’t work about half the time, all on their own?!?!

    • Eric Knight

      Frankly, I would like to see the person wearing the GPS to sue both the company and the state for false imprisonment when his device fails, and he is forced to stay in one place until the device is fixed. Indeed, this suit can be leveled retroactively, so there can be grounds for a class-action suit that would clearly create a much more stringent accountability factor on the state for using the devices.

      • http404

        Brilliant! I agree, and they should start with the GPS manufacturer who was a major contributor to Proposition 83.

  2. Bluewall

    I had one on for 6 months, it was the most exciting 6 months ever.. At first my PO believed everything the print out said until one day he called the tech desk on where I was and it said I was outside California and he visited my home and found me in the backyard doing some gardening.. Then he filed a complaint about the inaccuracy of the reports he received, he was told to closely monitor me. So he kept a log of times he seen me and compared them to the time log of print out.. later on the replaced the unit and problems persisted and then replaced it with a house arrest system for 2 weeks…

  3. C

    Another journalism FAIL. Nearly the entire article (I did not bother with the video) describes how violent predators and gang bangers are breaking free of their chains and roaming the streets to prey upon children with little fear of consequence. Only does the very last paragraph offer any insight into what is really going on: less than 2% of parolees are actually cutting off the GPS.

    The Corrections Department points out when you look at the entire parolee population of roughly 7,500, the jump in the number of people who cut off their GPS tracker is only 1.5 percent. Some would argue that’s not enough to justify more prison spending.

    I never had to wear this veritable Mark of the Beast but my heart goes out to those who undeservedly must.

  4. anon

    But surely since he was on the register (I assume) the community could have been keeping a closer eye on him!

    On a less sarcastic note, should someone that they feel needs to be monitored by gps be released from prison in the first place?

    • mike

      In California if your original offense was thirty years ago, but you don’t register for whatever reason, even once, you can be sentenced for a felony and up to three years in prison followed by 3-5 yrs. parole with GPS supervision. For an offense 30 yrs. ago! Trust me, it happens. I think if a person has gone this length of time without a new sex offense conviction that the GPS surveillance is overkill. This is how the parole office interprets Jessica’s law and they need all the business they can get right now. Parole In California for a tagged Registrant costs taxpayers $36/day.

      • anon

        That’s ridiculous! The state is already broke, and they are doing this crap? Personally, the need to get rid of the GPS entirely if they are that unreliable. That, and if there is a registry at all, a person should be able to get removed after their sentence and any probation after the sentence is completed.

      • Anonymous

        I had one for 4 1/2 years. I went through 7 of them, because of failures. They didn’t work in two places i lived. They constantly false flagged. When i found myself homeless living in a car, they didn’t work inside the car and because i had to find a place far away to park, they didn’t work in those places either.

        Luckily for me, cops kept harassing me so my name and location where always on the police scanner and reports given to parole.

        Also shady GPS tracking companies targeting uses for people (BluTag and Protek), lobbied to get these used. They are making millions monthly on them now, even though they have huge problems with them. Not only do the GPS units need to be changed out constantly or reprogrammed, they still require a lot of extra work by parole to clear the technical problems (Thousands daily), they have to also use 3G Verizon cards and laptops, meaning extra hidden costs past down to the taxpayers. Every parole agent now carries a laptop with a $50/mo verizon or other mobile broadband card, power inverters for the cars (they also go out often) and so far since the program started, the laptops have all been replaced at leased once. Lets see… who wants to do the math on that?

  5. Bluewall

    I believe its a money scheme. I had to pay $350 a month for the pleasure of wearing one… Along with $80 a month for services of probation (which according to the paperwork included job and housing search assistance when needed) I have been wondering for awhile but never had to opportunity to ask anyone, do others pay to be on parole or probation?

    • DZ

      I didn’t pay anything. That was 3 years ago though- don’t know if it changed, but I suspect you were fed a line.

      • anon

        Did they ever harass or threaten you for the money?

        • DZ

          No, but maybe I was lucky. After a couple months my PO seemed to get a sense of who I am and he was very easy to deal with: he never gave me any problems and the required home inspections took about 3 minutes. Another PO took over his cases in my last year, but that one too didn’t take long to seem to come to the conclusion that I wasn’t any kind of threat or worry. No one ever asked me to pay for the gps or anything like that. It was Parole, not probation- seeing the comment below- so maybe that affected it.

    • td777

      You don’t have to pay for parole, only probation. It is up to individual counties to determine how much to charge a probationer for being on probation.

  6. Bluewall

    I was never really threatened it, but it was pretty sly… I signed my agreement to be on probation to obey the law and whatnot. Then I reported to the probation office after release, and then they had more paperwork for me to sign, including a new terms of probation that consisted of my once a month “fees”

  7. C

    @Bluewall I certainly never had to pay a dime to be on parole, but I’ve heard that in some parts of the world they bill one’s family for the cost of the bullet used in one’s execution.

    If they resume executions in CA they might bill families for the drugs used on the condemned as they are probably not covered by ObamaCare.

  8. Pam

    Study after study has proven that ankle monitoring does nothing to keep the public safe. It’s another huge waste of resources, unless, of course, you are one of the unfortunate people that has to pay for the monitoring, as most on probation do. The only people that benefit are the politicians who push this kind of feel-good legislation, the corporations that manufacture GPS monitoring systems, and the private companies that contract with counties and states to provide the monitoring. Bluewall is lucky he only had to pay $350/mo. for the pleasure of being tracked. I know some who are paying $25.50/day, and I’m told it can go even higher, depending on your or your family or spouses income. When corporations get involved in the penal arm of the state you can rest assured that the result will have nothing to do with justice or public safety.

  9. GR

    I got drunk and slept with a 13 year old when I was 24. When I woke up next to the girl I jumped up got dressed and told her mother. I did my time clean. A couple of years later I went to prison on an assault. When I got out, because I was a registered sex offender, they put a gps monitor on me. I messed up, big time. Quit drinking because of it… so why am I paying for it all over again? Its been 8 years!

  10. a

    What are the consequences for cutting off an ankle monitor when your on parole? Would they ever let you go back on parole or would you have to serve the remainder of you scentence in prison?

  11. Tim

    I agree with Pam. These are symbolic acts to demonstrate the immense power of the State and to highlight the corporation’s technical power to penetrate into all facets of people’s lives. Registrants are the test cases for what will be applied to all poor and marginalized peoples. We mustn’t let this pass the constitutionality test, but I guess it already has.

  12. Tim

    Sorry for going on about this, but the politicians don’t care who funds this or if it really works, as long as they can milk political capital out of it and find willing corporations who have no scruples when when it comes to violating the Constitution. Those inserested in civil rights must vote against corrupt politicians and divest funds from corporations who profit from the corruption of civil liberties.

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