SACRAMENTO, Calif.—Paroled sex offenders in California who cut off their GPS tracking devices will receive harsher punishments.
Under legislation that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Saturday, cutting off a tracking device becomes a felony that could send parolees back to state prison for up to three years.
The bill, from Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance, also applies to offenders who are ordered to wear the tracking devices as a condition of their county probation.
It takes effect immediately.
The legislation came in response to reports that more offenders were ditching their ankle bracelets.
One set of figures from the state showed that the number of paroled sex offenders who are fugitives in California was 15 percent higher than before Brown's sweeping law enforcement realignment law took effect in 2011.