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State could lose track of tethered felons w/out tech update

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A technology upgrade that’s supposed to help consumers threatens to shut down the system for keeping track of felons and sex offenders who’ve been released from prison.
Electronic tethers that keep track of offenders could go dark at the end of the year.

             

                The state corrections department keeps track of 46 hundred offenders using electronic tethers
               Chris Gautz is with the department. He says the tethers are attached to Verizon’s 3-G network that’s supposed to go dark at the end of the year to be replaced by the 4-G network.
                He says the department uses the tethers to make sure offenders out on parole or probation stay away from victims – as well as other places they’re not supposed to be.

“They could be sex offenders. They could be other violent offenders. People who have restraining orders, things like that, against them. We need to know where they are.”

Republican leaders in the Legislature say they expect to reach a budget bargain with the governor in time to make sure the tether system is upgraded to match the new technology.