Have your bracelet call my briefcase

Have your bracelet call my briefcase

By Wilson Dizard III

GCN Staff

JAN. 26—Parolees in Utah might soon have their movements followed by satellite.

The state's Corrections Department next week will propose testing a parolee monitoring system that uses ankle bracelets in wireless communication with briefcase-size satellite uplinks.

Department spokesman Jack Ford said the state already uses several types of ankle bracelet systems, but all require terrestrial telephone links. The department plans to ask the Legislature for funds to test the satellite system.

Ford said the presentation has been delayed, however, because the technology is not yet working properly.

When it works, the satellite system can give minute-by-minute updates of a parolee's location within about 40 feet. It pinpoints the location anywhere in the United States via a geographic information system.

Utah parolees would have to carry the uplink constantly to update their coordinates. If the briefcase unit were left behind, the ankle bracelet would send a wireless alert. Corrections officers would monitor parolee location data via the Internet.

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