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October 20, 2007

The practical challenges of sex offender tracking

This fascinating Los Angeles Times story highlights the practical difficulties of extensive tracking of sex offenders.  The article is headlined "Some sex offenders go untracked: A measure approved by voters last year fails to clarify how to pay for satellite monitoring and which offenders require supervision."  Here is how it starts:

Hundreds of California sex offenders who are supposed to be monitored for life under an initiative approved by voters last year are now unsupervised because the law does not detail who is responsible for tracking them or how to pay for enforcement.  The ambiguity in the measure, Proposition 83, commonly known as Jessica's law, could affect thousands of sex offenders returning to local communities.

State corrections officials are warning local sheriffs and police that 553 convicted sex offenders who they believe fall under Proposition 83 have already been dismissed from parole and are not being monitored.  Therefore, there is no way to check whether they are complying with the law's requirement that they live more than 2,000 feet from schools and parks, and they are not being tracked by satellite for life. An additional 98 are expected to leave parole by year's end.

California Corrections Secretary James Tilton on Thursday began notifying local law enforcement agencies that the state would no longer take responsibility for placing tracking devices on the ankles of sex offenders once they leave parole.  But few if any local agencies around the state are equipped to handle the expensive and intensive satellite monitoring the law requires. And the law is not clear on whether they should have to do so.

Some related posts on sex offender GPS tracking:

October 20, 2007 at 10:43 AM | Permalink

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