Ankle monitoring device findings

Shirin Rajaee, KEYT NewsChannel 3 Anchor/Reporter, shirin.rajaee@keyt.com
POSTED: 02:07 PM PDT Apr 09, 2013    UPDATED: 09:07 AM PDT Apr 05, 2013 
SANTA BARBARA COUNTY, Calif. -

A recent investigation by the LA Times reveals some alarming data on the reliability of state-wide GPS tracking devices.

The report shows that electronic ankle monitors, used for thousands of high-risk sex offenders and gang members throughout California were so inaccurate and unreliable that corrections officials said the "public was in imminent danger."

Santa Barbara County Sheriff Bill Brown says our safety was not in jeopardy.  He says the state is switching manufacturers, and the company that they're switching over to is the same company the county has been using all along.

The state conducted tests that showed the tracking device's batteries were dying early, cases were cracking, locations of the parolees were off by as much as 3- miles, and tampering alerts were failing.

Sheriff Brown says our devices are working well, and we haven't had many technical issues. However, numerous local parolees are still tampering with their devices.

Sheriff Brown says GPS tracking devises are not a silver bullet, or a great substitute for people who really should be incarcerated, but they are a valuable tool when faced with prison overcrowding.

State Senator Ted Lieu has proposed a bill  that's currently making it's way through the state legislature that would make it a felony if parolees tampered with their GPS monitors.

NewsChannel 3 Reporter Shirin Rajaee reports.