SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) - Paroled sex offenders in California who cut off their GPS tracking devices will receive harsher punishments.

Under legislation that Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Saturday, cutting off a tracking device could send paroled sex offenders to county jail for six months.

The bill, from Democratic state Sen. Ted Lieu of Torrance, was in response to reports that more offenders were ditching their ankle bracelets and faced little punishment because they often were soon released from crowded jails.

It takes effect Jan. 1.

One set of figures from the state showed that the number of paroled sex offenders who are fugitives in California was 15 percent higher than before Brown's sweeping law enforcement realignment law took effect in 2011.