VAN NUYS, CA - MARCH 16: Robert Blake cuts a electronic monitoring anklet off after he was found not guilty of murdering his wife, Bonny Lee Bakley, outside a Van Nuys Courthouse March 16, 2005 in Van Nuys, California. (Photo by Stephen Shugerman/Getty Images)
The court orders parolees to wear GPS monitors. And they do -- right up until they take them off.
"Thousands" of parolees in California are removing their court-ordered GPS-enabled tracking devices, according to the Los Angeles Times. And they're free to do it -- the prisons that they would serve time in for the infraction are too full, the newspaper reported.
"It's a huge problem," Fresno-based parole agent Matt Hill told the newspaper.
A total of 3,400 arrest warrants for convicts who tampered with their devices have been issued since October 2011, when parole violators were referred to county jails instead of state prison in the program called "realignment."
Nearly all the warrants were for sex offenders, the newspaper reported.
Sex offenders used to risk up to a year in prison for parole violations, including tampering with their ankle bracelets. Now the maximum risk is 180 days in jail.