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California

GPS monitoring alerts overwhelm probation officers

SACRAMENTO — Electronic monitoring was supposed to help Los Angeles County deal with the influx of thousands of felons moved out of California’s prison system to ease overcrowding. The nation’s largest probation department strapped GPS ankle monitors on the highest-risk of those convicts, expecting the satellite receivers to keep tabs on where they spent their days and nights, and therefore keep the public safe.

Instead, agents are drowning in a flood of meaningless data, masking alarms that could signal real danger. County probation officers are inundated with alerts, and at times received as many as 1,000 a day. Most of the warnings mean little: a blocked signal or low battery. Full Article

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  1. KathieG

    I’ve already written Ms St John an email. Note that she starts out by explaining that the overwhelming number of offenders wearing GPS devices is due to the Governor being forced to release inmates to ease prison overcrowding, then uses a murder committed by a man “facing child pornography charges” to inject some fear, sex, and hysteria into her article. This man was not released from prison, he hadn’t even been charged according to her article. And I don’t think any sex offenders are getting an early release. But we all know that sex and violence sells. It also appears to me that her article is pushing for more jails and prisons, helping to sustain the very profitable “prison industry.”

    • Q

      Well; I got a response from the email I sent to the author, and I think she just don’t get it and doesn’t see anything wrong with using the RSO myth to make her appear to be a credible and responsible journalist. Here is her response;

      “It is not primarily sex offenders anymore on GPS”

  2. Tim

    We all need to make comments to this article. The comments sections are flooded with fear and misinformation. One commenter wanted the GPS devises to be monitored by the public. What idiots! A Public Policy Institute report to the Senate claims there is no significant affect of realignment on crime. In fact, in LA County, violent crime went down.

    • Q

      Hi Tim;
      I’d love to comment on this one. But for some strange reason my log in is no longer accepted on the LA Times site. Must have been that comment about illegal wars.

      • KathieG

        I e-mailed Ms St.John directly. The address is at the bottom of the article.

        • Q

          HI Kathy G;
          Great idea. I too, mailed Ms St.John and included some links to some empirical studies in the hopes that this reporter has at least a little integrity and will someday get the truth out about the RSO myth.

        • j

          Truth always seems to be a buzz kill for chronic liars such as the public officials who push these draconian laws and the people that support them.

  3. Someone who cares

    Just posted a comment, and it was not deleted yet….

    • Q

      Hi Someone who cares;
      Did you post as “Someone who cares?” I was just there and I did not see your comment. As for me, I cant sign in with Google, Yahoo or through my LA times account. I think they don’t like me. I tell the truth.

  4. Someone who cares

    I used another name on the LA Times article. If they had deleted my comment, I would have contacted the paper and/ or writer to let them know that if they make something public they need to be open to all comments, positive, negative, indifferent. Everybody has a different opinion, and that is what makes us unique. Right or wrong is just a perception. Being open to any opinion is what makes this world go around. Any form of media should be used to differing opinions.

  5. j

    These Orwellian contraptions make totalitarians drool. Now their drowning in it.

  6. Avig

    The GPS tracking devices are not working properly? The government is spending taxpayer money on this and it is serving no useful purpose? The GPS devices are wasting the time of the parole officers with gazillions of false messages? I don’t see why any of this is a problem. The GPS devices and parole itself (with only a few exceptions) are a total waste of time and money.

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