REDDING, Calif. -

Shasta County’s Supervised Probation Program uses GPS ankle monitoring devices to keep track of offenders and in this case, Mike Mangas.

The program has been around for less than a year, but it’s steadily growing.

Probation Assistant Melanie Jarrett hooked Mike Mangas up with a GPS unit Tuesday to give the KRCR News Channel 7 anchor a firsthand experience on what wearing one is like.

Jarrett answered a lot of questions about what the device can do.

“We can get the date, time, latitude, longitude. We can tell how fast they’re moving, if they’re in a car or if they’re walking.”

The monitor can also talk to you, but you can’t talk back.

For the most part, that’s a good thing.

Many offenders are concerned about their privacy and just how much the monitor sees.

The answer is nothing at all.

Jarrett says they can monitor them on a map. That’s it.

“It’s one-way communication. No camera.”

The monitor is light and relatively comfortable. Mangas said he didn’t even notice it until he was walking briskly.

The monitor is tracked through cell phone towers that give out a signal every three minutes for regular parolees and every one minute for high-risk offenders.

Division Director Penny Mossman said that since the program started, 55 percent of offenders have been successfully sentenced.

That is freeing up space in the jail for more serious offenders.

“One of the reasons we wanted to create a supervised OR program was to help with overcrowding at the jail,” said Mossman “And the other piece was, perhaps, to help get some of those offenders to court that had not been going.”