Hundreds Of California Gang Members Released From GPS Tracking

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – Not only are state prison officials getting ready to move thousands of inmates to county jails in a cost cutting move, but they’ve also reduced the number of gang members on GPS monitoring.

There are about 950 gang parolees with GPS devices, but starting next Friday, July 1st, that’s being cut to 400. The move is expected to save $6 million, which is only a fraction of the $150 million the department has been asked to cut.

“We need to live within our means, which means that we have to prioritize who we put on GPS,” said Oscar Hidalgo, spokesman for the Department of Corrections. “We believe that the sex offender population will remain on GPS monitoring. There are 7,500 sex offenders in the state today that are monitored using GPS technology, and that will continue.”

KCBS’ Holly Quan Reports:

Officials won’t completely dismantle the GPS program for gang parolees just in case the money comes back. However, until it does, local law enforcement will have a tougher time linking gang members to crime scenes.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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