Assemblyman Gorell Introduces Legislation to Ensure Proper GPS Tracking of Violent Felons

Sacramento, CA – Assemblyman Jeff Gorell (R-Camarillo) today introduced legislation requiring that violent felons who tamper with or remove their GPS monitoring devices while on parole will have their parole revoked and be returned to jail for a minimum of 180 days. By doing this, we will protect the public and prevent possible future victims; especially in light of the public safety realignment and early release policies that have resulted in an uptick in crime rates.

Assembly Bill 2477 expands upon last year’s legislation which placed strict monitoring requirements upon paroled sex offenders. Gorell’s bill recognizes that large numbers of violent felons released under Governor Brown’s prison realignment system are required to wear GPS tracking devices, but the punishment for disabling the tracking devices is often insignificant.

“Without the deterrence of additional jail time, violent felons who continue to prey upon innocent Californians see no problem with removing their GPS tracking devices,” stated Assemblyman Gorell. “We put tracking devices on these felons for a reason, and it is important that they be constantly monitored.”

A 2013 article in the Los Angeles Times revealed that parolees can disable their GPS monitors, often with very little risk of serving time because the jails are too full to hold them. Some jails have freed parole violators within days or even hours of their arrest, and some jails have refused to accept these parole violators at all.

According to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation, in the 15 months before prison realignment, 221 parolees tampered with or cut off their GPS monitors. After the change, between October 2011 and the end of 2012, 482 parolees tampered with or cut their GPS bracelets. AB 2477 can be a very effective tool to help local law enforcement deal with these negative effects of realignment.