Flaws found in state parolees' ankle monitors

  • FILE -- In this photo Aug. 3, 2009 file photo, Parole Agent Steve Nakamura uses a flashlight to inspect a GPS locater worn on the ankle of a sex-offender parolee in Rio Linda, Calif. An Associated Press analysis of Department of Corrections And Rehabilitation data, show that 2,706 paroled sex offenders have disappeared since Gov. Jerry Brown's realignment law took effect 17 months ago. Attention has focused on parolees who cut off or disable their GPS-linked ankle bracelets that parole agents use to track a parolee's movement. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

LOS ANGELES — Thousands of ankle monitors that track the movements of paroled sex offenders and other criminals were ordered removed and replaced by California officials last year because they were flawed and unreliable, the Los Angeles Times (http://lat.ms/14wUoRM) reported.

The move was made after field testing of devices made by a division of 3M Co., which had supplied GPS monitors used by about 4,000 parolees. The company was competing for a statewide contract valued at about $51 million over six years.

The company's bid was rejected because of defects found in the devices, the Times said, and they also failed a second round of tests after 3M protested.

The company disputed the allegations.

"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."

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