California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger wants the state to track many violent gang parolees the way it does sex offenders, monitoring them with ankle devices and maintaining a database that records their movements, reports the Los Angeles Times. He would extend a pilot program being used to monitor 20 gang members in San Bernardino to Los Angeles, Sacramento and Fresno.
Under the plan, “the worst of the worst” would get global positioning system “bracelets so we know exactly where they are and what they are doing,” Schwarzenegger said. “If they try to recruit new members or terrorize people in the community, we will know where they are and we will be able to bust them.” The plan, applauded by some law enforcement and community groups, received faint praise from the Democrat-dominated Legislature, where members advocate a more preventive approach to gang violence. Some Democrats suggested that the governor’s $48-million proposal, which also modestly increases spending on job training, witness protection and activities for at-risk youths, lacks substance. The bracelets are so costly that the state can afford to contribute only 20 to gang prevention efforts in each of the three new cities targeted for the program. Each anklet is equipped with an antenna and costs more than $3,000 per year. The state also spends thousands of dollars more paying parole agents to monitor the movements that the bracelets record.