Twenty-Two Serious Crime Offenders Without Monitoring Devices

There maybe fears after reports of almost two dozen serious crime offenders, some recently released from prison, who are now free and foot loose from supervision. Twenty-two inmates are suppose to be wearing GPS monitoring devices now but they aren't. However, the Board of Pardons and Paroles reports there's no cause for alarm.

The convicts are no longer wearing their monitoring devices because of a mix-up with the company that provided them. When the Board of Pardons and Paroles realized the company was not licensed in the state of Alabama the Board canceled its services immediately. On top of that, the department had not signed a contract with the vendor because it was done under emergency conditions.

The twenty-two offenders would normally be behind bars now but because there were monitoring devices they were out of prison. Most of them are on parole or probation. And of the twenty-two on the GPS devices, seven are from and are presently living in Montgomery County. Most of them are sex offenders and one is a youthful offender. But now, the offenders no longer wear them because of the administrative mix-up.

Mike Feehan with Pardons and Paroles says "I'm concerned about it certainly. I'm not what you would call worried in that the offenders are getting monitored. All of these offenders who were unhooked, if you will, from GPS will return to the next highest available level of supervision. Reporting to probation officers? Correct. Regularly? Yes."

That next highest level of supervision could be to check in daily or weekly or monthly. It depends on the inmate. But to know exactly where the offender is at all times, Pardons and Paroles will have to go back to the monitoring devices.

Pardons and Paroles says it has a $600,000 federal grant for the monitoring devices but that grant lasts until November. The department says it will ask for an extension and take bids to resume the GPS monitoring.