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Changes Coming To How California Tracks Sex Offenders

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Ankle Bracelet. (CBS)

Ankle Bracelet. (CBS)

SACRAMENTO (KCBS) – Electronic devices have become an important tool used to track parolees, but the California Department of Corrections is changing how sex offenders wearing those ankle bracelets are monitored.

Until now, it was the parole agents who had to respond to the tens of thousands of alarms from the satellite-linked ankle bracelets.

But beginning on Wednesday, the companies that sell the devices will screen the alarms and alert agents to serious situations.

KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“This is a great development that the company that developed these devices, who are the ones up on this technology, should be dealing with these small things like if the battery dies or the device got hit against the wall,” said David Muhammad, the Chief Probation Officer for the Alameda County Probation Department.

Muhammad said that when an agent responds to every deficiency in the technology, it takes them away from the real work they signed up to do.

“This actually helps what’s much more important, which is human beings, the professionals being out in the communities where these offenders are living and providing that face-to-face supervision,” he said.

A Department of Corrections report obtained by the Associated Press found that agents spend 12 percent of their work week in the field and 44 percent reviewing the electronic monitoring of parolees.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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