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Politics & Government

Michigan spends $4.6 million to upgrade parolee ankle monitors statewide

illustration of person wearing an ankle tether
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A change in technology is forcing the Michigan Department of Corrections to upgrade the ankle monitors of the more than 4,000 parolees and others under state monitoring in Michigan. 

The current monitors operate on the soon-to-be defunct Verizon 3G network, which is being upgraded to 4G. The change is expected to cost the state $4.6 million says Chris Gautz, the Department's Public Information Officer. 

Ankle monitors allow the state to keep track of the movements of parolees to make sure they aren't violating terms of their parole. This group includes people convicted of sex offenses, domestic violence and other crimes.

The new monitors, in addition to being 4G compatible, are expected to provide additional benefits.

"It'll help us provide some more assurity that we're getting a more accurate location and that they are less likely to be tampered with in some way," Gautz says.

He says they received the monitors in early January, and are in the process of swapping out the monitors, which is expected to be concluded within 45 days.

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