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Mich. Spends $4.6M on Ankle Bracelets

Verizon upgraded its network, so the current 3G-enabled monitors won't work.

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LANSING, Mich. (AP) — A technology change is forcing Michigan's corrections department to spend about $4.6 million to more than 4,000 parolees and others under state supervision with new ankle monitors.

According to Mlive, Michigan Department of Corrections Public Information Officer Chris Gautz said that it is necessary to swap out the ankle bracelets because Verizon upgraded its network from 3G to 4G, meaning the current 3G-enabled monitors won't work.

Cautz said that the new bracelets arrived early this month and that thus far only about 16 percent of the 4,050 people currently wearing the monitors have had their devices swapped out. He said the replacement process, which takes about 15 minutes for those wearing the bracelets, is expected to be completed within 45 days.

The monitors allow the corrections department to track parolees and others under supervision and alerts the department whenever people wearing the devices violate any terms of their release, including requirements that they be home by a certain hour.

People wearing the monitors include convicted sex offenders and those convicted of domestic violence and drunken driving. Gautz said.

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