Eye in the sky will track Calif. parolees

Eye in the sky will track Calif. parolees

The California Corrections Department is developing a program to track parolees via the Global Positioning System.

The department signed an agreement last month with Digital Angel Corp., a subsidiary of Applied Digital Solutions Inc. of Palm Beach, Fla. The Riverside, Calif., subsidiary makes devices for monitoring an individual's whereabouts and vital statistics.

The program will track a few hundred high-risk sex offenders, said Russ Heimerich, a corrections spokesman. 'These are the people we're most concerned about keeping away from schools and other areas,' he said.

The program is still in early development, Heimerich said, and 'will have to be developed. It's not like there's an off-the-shelf product available.'

The wearable monitoring device will tell corrections officials where parolees have been and when. Amro Albanna, president of Digital Angel's Riverside division, said the device is smaller than a pack of cigarettes.

It transmits wireless alerts to Palm OS units, e-mail systems, browsers and pagers via the Digital Angel operations center, then over TCP/IP or frame relay lines, he said.

About the Author

Trudy Walsh is a senior writer for GCN.

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