Print 10 comment(s) - last by Motoman.. on Apr 2 at 10:59 AM

The state has replaced them all with new ankle bracelets

The state of California made a shocking discovery about its GPS monitoring devices for parolees: they weren't working. 

A little more than a year ago, California started testing its devices for parolees and found out that they weren't as effective as once thought. Location tracking was off by as much as three miles, cases were cracked and batteries died early. 

Parolees were even able to bypass tracking by covering the devices with foil (which interfered with the GPS signals), moving into buildings (which also interfere with GPS signals) and using illegal GPS jammers.

After this startling revelation, the state took all GPS devices in use at the time and replaced them with monitoring gadgets from another manufacturer. 

When California deployed the monitoring devices in 2008, it used devices from two different manufacturers: 3M Co. and Satellite Tracking of People (STOP). 3M was used on 4,000 parolees in all but six California counties, while STOP covered the rest of the state.

But when California decided to stick with only one manufacturer to make things easier, it went with 3M. 

However, 3M's devices proved to be severely faulty. In later testing in 2011, 3M's devices failed to meet 46 of 102 field test standards. More specifically, the devices failed to collect a GPS location every minute, phone in the information every 10 minutes and send a text message to the parole agent if a problem occurred. As it turned out, 3M only collected 45 percent of the possible GPS points. 

"This is one agency's testing," said Steve Chapin, vice president of government relations for 3M's electronic monitoring division. "We have the most widely used system in the world. It's been proven time and time and time again to be very safe and reliable."

Corrections attorneys were able to convince a judge to seal the information about the device failures in a lawsuit over the GPS contracting. GPS Program Director Denise Milano said the results could not only help parolees learn how to break the law, but it would also cause the public to distrust such devices. 

In February, a Sacramento County judge ruled that Milano violated state contract laws, and also found 3M's devices to be faulty. 

Parolees in California have been switched over to STOP devices since April 2012. 

"Neither 3M nor STOP can produce a device that will read the offender's mind to determine his or her intent, so the devices can only 'assume' that a tamper is intentional," 3M said.

Source: The Los Angeles Times

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By BRB29 on 4/1/2013 2:53:40 PM , Rating: 5
Sorry, but both 3M and STOP's devices are going to have pretty much the same problem. Unless you change the satellite's signals, use aGPS, and put signal boosters in every structure then none of the problems stated will be solved. Such a typically government decision.

"oh it doesn't work so let's use the other guy's products that has most of the same problems and convince the people that it's the right choice"

Politicians and their magic.

RE: Unrealistic?
By GotThumbs on 4/1/2013 4:13:47 PM , Rating: 5
They should have just given them Obama phones and tracked them through those.

Just a suggestion that would finally justify the over-spending on this program IMO.

A cell phone is NOT a right IMO.

RE: Unrealistic?
By BRB29 on 4/2/2013 8:27:49 AM , Rating: 2
For all we know, this could be a bad april fools joke

RE: Unrealistic?
By Motoman on 4/2/2013 10:59:05 AM , Rating: 3
Doesn't matter - if you're a politician you get to ignore reality and just preach whatever stupidity someone pays you to.

Probably a lobbyist somewhere paying them to support the other GPS devices.

Tracked like an animal
By HostileEffect on 4/1/13, Rating: 0
RE: Tracked like an animal
By ritualm on 4/1/2013 9:09:26 PM , Rating: 3
Hah! Wait until you're in London, UK.

RE: Tracked like an animal
By ipay on 4/2/2013 8:15:33 AM , Rating: 2
London USA, is not that much better :p

RE: Tracked like an animal
By Motoman on 4/2/2013 10:54:55 AM , Rating: 2
I don't think it's just a California thing...remember Martha Stewert wearing one after her conviction? I would reckon it happens in any state. *only* happens if you're convicted of a maybe what you're saying is "I won't commit a crime in CA" - which probably is just fine with the state of CA.

Not surprised.
By GotThumbs on 4/1/2013 4:11:04 PM , Rating: 2
Just as long as the criminals stay in Cali....I couldn't care less.

California is a joke anyway IMO.

RE: Not surprised.
By BRB29 on 4/2/2013 7:48:52 AM , Rating: 2
Cali is actually a great place to live. It has its pros and cons compared to other states. Overall, people seems happier there than other highly populated states. But maybe it's the weather :)

"So if you want to save the planet, feel free to drive your Hummer. Just avoid the drive thru line at McDonalds." -- Michael Asher

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