BI Monitoring equipment goes Dark leaving thousands not being monitored

Posted in the Raleigh Forum

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1 - 9 of 9 Comments Last updated Sep 26, 2012
Michael Rackley

United States

#1 Jun 14, 2012
http://spectrum.ieee.org/riskfactor/computing...

Various news media reported yesterday that for about 12 hours on Tuesday, a system used by some 900 government agencies in 49 states did not provide real-time GPS and other electronic monitoring information on about 16,000 parolees, sex offenders, and others due to a database problem.

This AP report said that the company that runs the monitoring service, BI Incorporated of Boulder, Colorado, reported that the system reached its data threshold of more than 2.1 billion records Tuesday morning. The records include GPS location information as well as curfew and alcohol monitoring data. The tracking/monitoring devices were still sending out information; however, the agencies were unable to view the data.

Apparently, the company had underestimated how quickly their database was filling up with information.

In a bit of an understatement, a BI Incorporated spokesperson said that:


"In retrospect, we should have been able to catch this."

Without access to the tracking/monitoring information, law enforcement agencies in various states began detaining those wearing the tracking/monitoring devices until the monitoring system was working properly again.

BI Incorporated has added enough storage capacity to allow a trillion records to be stored, the AP reports. The company also said it would be developing an early warning system to tell it when the storage limit was at risk of being reached.

Those wearing the tracking devices never knew that the system wasn't working, the AP said.
Ralph Swier

Highlands, NC

#2 Jun 17, 2012
Well these are the guys the North Carolina Department of Corrections just contracted with. Even though BI’s equipment is outdated and horrible they beat out a professional well-known company like G4S. Senate Bill 311, signed law in North Carolina, says that BI's equipment, by definition, is not even lawful in the State. The law which requires automatic crime-scene correlation requires something BI does not offer. The law also requires a 48 hour battery life which, and, according to their website, BI does not offer. North Carolina’s new law seems to be on-the-way to other states as well. And it should. Why? Public Safety. You see shoddy companies like BI who exist only to grab a quick buck should have to brunt the cost of designing the best equipment using the latest technology. G4S has been around much longer and understands this. Rumors that the North Carolina Department of Corrections decided this little deal long before the bid was out seem to have some merit. All bidders should contest this recent North Carolina award to Behavioral Interventions a/k/a/ BI. Incidentally BI was purchased in 2011 by GEO. Please read on. Past failures of the North Carolina Department of Corrections shows disregarding the public safety has allowed nearly 500 murders to occur and thanks to nearly 15,000 unsupervised felony parole absconders on the lamb. While Governor Perdue’s answer was to create the Department of Public Safety, all employs of the old and “who ya know” Department of Corrections remain in office; except for the Secretary of the department, who was forced to resign. And who did the secretary recently go to work for? GEO.
Ralph Swier

Highlands, NC

#3 Jun 17, 2012
I will add one last comment to the forum and I will sit silent. G4S helped North Carolina Department of Corrections design its current electronic monitoring program. G4S, with the latest and safest highly-developed equipment bent over backwards for the North Carolina Department of Corrections. Now G4S and others who have much better and safer equipment than this questionable bidder have been sent a message. Politics of the Governor with the least favorable rating of any governor in the United States will win every time. Public Safety and the public's best interest are not factors at the North Carolina Department of Corrections. And truth is, they never will be; unless you remove and replace all current and lifelong employees responsible for the degradation of the public's safety. Send 'em home Pat McCrory; along with your one-term governor.
True Reality

United States

#4 Jun 17, 2012
Dear " Mr. Swier",
I am sorry to bust your bubble, but to say that G4S has the best equipment is to deny the facts. And if you believe the Dept of Public Safety will be told by McCrory or any other Governor what it should do well you are living on Fantasy Island. The Dept of Public Safety is an independent government agency. It is ran by the best employees of any other independent agency in the State. I have no information about how the bid on this matter went. I speculate that it was fair to all concerned. This includes G4S, a company based in the United Kingdom. This is also the same company currently contracted with the Dept of Public Safety and throughout those bad DOC years you spoke of. Maybe it is time to move on.
Regis S

Benson, NC

#5 Jun 17, 2012
Doesn't seem likely that the NC DOC now DPS would not follow the law. I worked for DOC for 23 years and I would agree with "True Reality" that G4S' equipment sucks. I believe Hannah Rowland is still with DPS as she worked with both companies, I believe. Having the experience she calls the shots and she knows how the system works. And yes Mr. Swier she even knows the law. I have little doubt that she has done her homework and most likely BI, if that is who is receiving the award, has equipment that will meet or exceed the law below. Simple testing will prove it. Again G4S, don't know if they meet it or not, has problems with their equipment. I recall even some media release showing the problems we were having. So change will be good if BI got this as you say.
SECTION 2.(a) G.S. 15A-101.1 is amended by adding a new subdivision to read:
"§ 15A-101.1. Electronic technology in criminal process and procedure.
As used in this Chapter, in Chapter 7A of the General Statutes, in Chapter 15 of the General Statutes, and in all other provisions of the General Statutes that deal with criminal process or procedure:
(3a) "Electronic monitoring" or "electronically monitor" or "satellite-based monitoring" means monitoring with an electronic monitoring device that is not removed from a person's body, that is utilized by the supervising agency in conjunction with a Web-based computer system that actively monitors, identifies, tracks, and records a person's location at least once every minute 24 hours a day, that has a battery life of at least 48 hours without being recharged, that timely records and reports or records the person's presence near or within a crime scene or prohibited area or the person's departure from a specified geographic location, and that has incorporated into the software the ability to automatically compare crime scene data with locations of all person's being electronically monitored so as to provide any correlation daily or in real time. In areas of the State where lack of cellular coverage requires the use of an alternative device, the supervising agency shall use an alternative device that works in concert with the software and records location and tracking data for later download and crime scene comparison."
SECTION 2.(b) G.S. 14-208.18 is amended by adding a new subsection to read:
"(g1) Notwithstanding any provision of this section, a person subject to subsection (a) of this section who is required to wear an electronic monitoring device shall wear an electronic monitoring device that provides exclusion zones around the premises of all elementary and secondary schools in North Carolina."
SECTION 2.(c) By October 1, 2011, the Department of Correction shall replace the electronic monitoring service and equipment currently being used with a provider that offers electronic monitoring equipment and service that provides exclusion zones around the premises of every elementary and secondary school in the State for the protection of children from sex offenders for whom it is unlawful to knowingly be on the premises of elementary and secondary schools pursuant to G.S. 14-208.18.
SECTION 2.(d) The Department of Correction shall report to the Joint Legislative Corrections, Crime Control, and Juvenile Justice Oversight Committee by June 1, 2012, regarding the implementation of the new electronic monitoring service and equipment and provide the Committee with its evaluation of how the new system is functioning and how it compares with other systems used by the Department for this same purpose.
SECTION 3. Section 1 of this act becomes effective December 1, 2011, and applies to violations of pretrial release conditions occurring on or after that date. Section 2 of this act becomes effective October 1, 2011. This section is effective when it becomes law.
In the General Assembly read three times and ratified this the 16th day of June, 2011.
Protech 3M

Benson, NC

#6 Jun 21, 2012
offenders being monitored. Although this is a valuable tool, it is not nearly as powerful as the automated systems that check all recorded crime scenes against all offender locations at one time.
When crime scene correlation is used, an offender has three options when contemplating a criminal act. First, he can choose to commit the crime, knowing full well that he will quickly be identified as the likely suspect which will result in his arrest. His second option is to remove and discard his assigned tracking equipment before committing the crime. He would then be subject to arrest for violating the terms of his supervision. Because he discarded his tracking device, the police authorities may wish to question the offender about many crimes that occurred after the discarding of the bracelet, including crimes he had nothing to do with. His last option, and the option that seems most reasonable, is to decide against committing the crime. It is felt, at the very worst, most tracked offenders would choose to postpone their criminal activity until such a time that their locations are no longer being monitored.
The value of automated crime scene correlation is finally beginning to be realized. Why it has not been a more integral part of offender tracking programs is perplexing. Perhaps it is a lack of knowledge that the technology is available. It could be that some law enforcement agencies are unwilling to share their data. Interagency cooperation takes time and planning which some agencies fail to meet due to competing obligations and commitments.http://www.cepprob ation.org/uploaded_files/Pres% 20EM09%20Dra.pdf
Yema Bil

Benson, NC

#7 Aug 7, 2012
Well I thinks that a lady up their created her job security. Everyone knows that the old secretary works with GEO who's owns BI now. Also a certain lady has a guaanteed job now thatshe helped BI get back in ere in NC.
ricky

Washington, DC

#8 Aug 10, 2012
It seems Mrs. Rowland is securing herself a job when the administration changes. This BI group was thrown out of other states and recently purchased GEO. There's rumors the next gov will clean house at DPS who has had lots of problems.
April James

United States

#9 Sep 26, 2012
The DOC in NC has operated unchecked for the last 17 years or more. It does as it sees fit. I personally feel G4S did a great job. If GEO is in here something smells fishy. GEO has questionable issues in Florida where it is from. When NC Secretary Beck resigned and DPS emerged we were told it all had been fixed. Nothing has been fixed up here. We need someone to fire everyone from the top on down and begin again. Citizens' safety hangs in the balance while those connected to the governor's office run things. And I just found out too that Beck went to work with GEO. GEO owns BI who was awarded the new sex offender monitoring contract. Guess Beck is still here calling the shots.

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