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Questions raised about GPS monitoring of released inmates


MADISON (WSAU)   The head of the state Assembly’s corrections committee says an audit might be needed to see if Wisconsin’s satellite tracking system for sex offenders is working properly.

The Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism interviewed a dozen offenders who said the system often makes mistakes – and there are major reliability concerns about G-P-S units in seven other states. The Wisconsin offenders complained about false alerts which landed them in jail, while claiming they’ve done nothing wrong. Assembly Republican Garey Bies of Sister Bay says he knows of no problems with Wisconsin’s system, but he agrees that an audit might be in order. State corrections’ officials reported no problems with the tracking system, which the state leases from a Colorado firm.

But James Morgan said the unit he wears has lots of problems. He says he’s afraid to use the bathroom in his Madison home, because his G-P-S device has mistakenly alerted authorities several times that he was out of his tracking range when he was not. Morgan spent 26 years in prison for sex crimes – and like similar offenders, he’s under G-P-S monitoring for the rest of his life. Wisconsin is tracking almost 650 offenders, and officials say the number could rise 50-percent in the next two years.