Prison Surveillance

Los Angeles jails to use radio tags to track inmates

The nation's largest jail system will soon start experimenting with a way to keep an even closer watch on its inmates. Los Angeles County is planning to spend one-point-five million dollars to tag 19-hundred inmates with new radio-linked wristbands to pinpoint their locations. A police official says if the program is successful, it may be expanded to other facilities. The tracking device is an updated version of wristbands that have been tested since 2000 at a California state prison near the Mexican border. Removing or breaking the bracelet sets off a computer alarm, alerting guards to a possible prison escape.

Michigan and Ohio also have tracking systems in place at some of its facilities.