Tara Monks / Richmond California uses GPS monitors for parolees liked to gangs

Richmond California uses GPS monitors for parolees liked to gangs

California lawyer news: Richmond has placed 20 parolees tied to gangs on GPS monitoring systems, requiring them to check in and stay clear of crime zones

Parole officer: "It's not a big brother watching them but a brother's keeper."
Richmond California uses GPS monitors for parolees liked to gangs

// West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Richmond, CA – In efforts to gain control over the ongoing crime and violence in Richmond, police began using GPS ankle bracelets on all parolees who are known gang members on Monday, May 3, 2010, as reported by www.ktvu.com.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) fitted 17 parolees with GPS tracking devices. State parole agents are expected to fit three more convicted gang members with the monitors during the upcoming week, bringing the total to 20 parolees.

According to Richmond parole officials, it will now be easier to effectively prevent parolees from entering certain areas of the city where gangs typically meet. The tracking device will allow for officers to enforce area boundaries for those wearing the bracelets.

Richmond police explain that the device has a paging system. If the parolees feel a 10-second vibration from their ankle bracelet, they must push a button on the bracelet and call their parole officer. Police are hoping the GPS monitors will remind the parolees they are being watched, thus prompting them to steer clear of gang-related activities.

An unsurprisingly angry parolee, 29-year-old Gregory Tolbert, who served time for drug possession and firearms offenses, described to reporters his dissatisfaction as, “I supposed to be free. I already did my time.” He further explained, “I feel like I’m being violated on my civil rights or something, man.”

Tolbert was arrested for gun possession within hours of being outfitted with the device.

The parolees are required to wear the bracelets until the end of their parole, unless good behavior factors into a lesser sentence.

Richmond is the third Bay-Area city to enlist GPS tracking devices in the war against gangs. Oakland and Fairfield were first.

In January 2009, the CDCR placed a GPS monitor on every parolled sex offender.

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