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Free Range Prison Industrial-Complex


In Richmond, California, statistically identified as having America’s fourteenth highest crime rate [1] , the police recently fitted twenty parolees with GPS tracking devices on their ankles. [2] The devices include paging systems that require the parolee to call his or her parole agent each time they feel the device vibrate. Police officers say that they can use the devices to track parolees and place them at the scene of a crime committed while on parole. The tracking devices do, however, bring into question the status of a parolee’s civil liberties and may open the door to court challenges regarding invasion of privacy and other constitutionally guaranteed rights. The political will of several states are fully behind using the new technology and the courts thus far seem to like the flexibility they offer in sentencing and early release. The Richmond program is merely the tip of the iceberg.

In Los Angeles, for example, the police have established the Realtime Analysis and Critical Response (RACR) division, which uses a website called VeriTracks to follow parolees. [3] Parolees wearing the tracking devices are tracked online in real time with their whereabouts shown on a map by a green colored dot. RACR has the ability to type in the location of a crime and determine whether or not a parolee was at the scene of the crime at or around the time of the incident. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has been paroling gang members on the condition that they wear the tracking devices and has also begun using the devices on sex offenders. In fact, under a new law called Chelsea’s Law , those convicted of violent sex acts against children under age 14 would qualify for lifetime GPS tracking. [4] In 2007, California was projected to spend $30 million on GPS tracking devices and services. The state now spends around $80 million annually on equipment and services without any proof that the new technology has made citizens safer. [5]

The State of Florida has signed on to use a new type of technology, sold by the company ActSoft, which not only monitors the whereabouts of a person, but also can detect whether or not that person has been drinking alcohol. Florida asserts that the technology is being used to free up space in prisons for violent offenders and is even giving people charged with reckless driving with the option of either going to jail to await trial, or staying out on bail with an ankle bracelet that can detect alcohol in their blood. [6] The system works by detecting the presence of ethanol vapors, a telltale sign of the metabolism of alcohol.

http://globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=18993
 

 
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