City Sees Early Success in GPS Program for Parolees
In March 2006, the city of San Bernardino, CA, partnered with the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation to use ankle bracelets with global positioning system (GPS) technology to monitor high-risk gang parolees.
Since that time, nearly 40 gang members equipped with the bracelets returned to jail for breaking their release terms, according to authorities. An average of three parolees per month are being rearrested, says Ernie Bastarache, a San Bernardino parole agent who oversees the program and monitors the parolees.
The ankle bracelets constitute one part of the city’s 18-point anti-crime initiative released last year by Mayor Pat Morris. He also wants to collaborate with officials beyond the city to reduce instances of violent crime.
Meanwhile, Brad Mitzelfelt, the 1st District supervisor for San Bernardino County, says he has proposed expanding the GPS tracking program for gangs across the county. “Just based on our experience with sexual predators, we know it’s been an effective tool,” said Mitzelfelt’s representative David Zook.
San Bernardino police officials are still working on issues about sharing information with the Redlands Police Department.
Officials note that each GPS bracelet costs about $2,000 and the cost for daily monitoring via GPS costs about $8. In addition, agents who monitor parolees need to be adequately trained and paid.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the San Bernardino County Sun (CA); 02/26/07; Nelson, Joe.