A nationwide review by the Orange County Register of GPS abuse found dozens of cases of child molestation, rape and even killings of police officers committed by those being monitored. Crime victims, police officers, attorneys and registered sex offenders talked about weaknesses in the system.

GPS “is a joke and the joke is on us,” said Linda Whitfield of Helena-West Helena, Ark., who counsels a gang-rape victim whose attackers wore monitors.

Statistically, GPS monitoring is promising. One study funded by the National Institute of Justice shows that 14 percent of California parolees on GPS committed another crime, compared with 26 percent without the device.

But that's little comfort to the families of four Lakewood, Wash., police officers killed by an ex-con who took off his GPS in a bid to ambush cops.

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