It seems that the much-touted GPS devices used to monitor many sex offenders are in fact not nearly as reliable as one would hope, at least according to an extensive piece linked here by Paige St. John in yesterdays LA TIMES.
It seems that California began more than a year ago to actually TEST the devices. They found that many of the devices were so unreliable as to present an “imminent danger” to public safety.
Reported locations could be off by as much as three miles. The batteries died prematurely. The signals would not get outside of a car or a building and could easily be masked by covering the device with aluminum foil. The devices were so unreliable that the state ordered all of those used north of Los Angeles to be pulled from clients and replaced.
Interestingly, the state lawyers in a lawsuit against the device contractor managed to convince the judge to seal the information about the failures. I can only guess it was so bad it was scary. The official reason was that revealing the information would “erode public trust” in the much-touted system.
Perhaps the public NEEDS to have its trust eroded, if not in the system then in the politics behind it, including the Brown administration.
The devices in question, built by 3M, failed 46 of 102 field test standards.
The article is worth the read. Thanks to Caroline for the link.