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February 19, 2008

More on technocorrections for sex offenders

This new article in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, headlined "Technology keeps eye on sex offenders," provides a useful overview of various technocorrection issues surrounding sex offender tracking:

Nobody wants them.  But everyone wants to know where they are.  So cities and states are forging new laws and using the latest technologies to keep tabs on hundreds of thousands of convicted sex offenders.

Their home addresses are considered public information.  Some wear bracelets that can be tracked by satellite and cell phone towers. Others are forced to give their online identities and screen names to parole officers.  Some communities are limiting where offenders can live.

The ability to track them, safety advocates say, is one of the best ways to protect the public.  If you know where the bad people are, they say, it's easier to keep an eye on them. Or to avoid them altogether. Critics, however, say new laws and restrictions make it impossible for sex offenders to be anything more than social outcasts. And there are those who worry about putting so much emphasis on what they characterize as a small piece of the sexual crime problem....

What's changing is the ease of access and the options available. More than 600,000 registered sex offenders can be found in state and national databases, run both by government and private industry....

Sparked by the 2005 rape and murder of a 9-year-old Florida girl, many states are taking a more forceful approach, particularly against violent offenders or those who sexually assault children.  A hallmark of Florida's Jessica Lunsford Act is mandatory lifetime GPS tracking after an offender is released from prison.

The idea has caught on, with dozens of states enacting similar laws. Such monitoring costs around $20 a month for each offender. Generally using a mixture of GPS and cellular networks, offenders can be monitored passively or actively. Their movements might be checked only if there is a question about recent travels, or they might be watched constantly by someone at a computer screen....

It's also possible to declare certain areas, or even people, off-limits through the use of virtual fences and personal monitors. Previous victims, for example, could be notified whenever their attacker is nearby, said Daniel Graff-Radford, a vice president with Omnilink Systems, a Georgia company that monitors offenders for 100 agencies in 38 states....

And in what some characterize as an extreme variation of tracking technology, an Ohio company is promoting a device — which anyone could buy — that would vibrate whenever a bracelet-wearing sex offender comes within 50 yards.

Some related posts on sex offender GPS tracking:

February 19, 2008 at 08:01 AM | Permalink

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» Thinking Carefully About Sex Offender Policies from Crime and Consequences
When one reads stories like this, it's easy to understand the public sentiment for strong punishments against sex offenders. Likewise, the horrific story of Megan Kanka which spurred the development of the various sex offender registries is another rem... [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 19, 2008 10:47:40 AM

» GPS Tracking Update from SexCrimeDefender
Via Sentencing Law Policy A comprehensive series on the ins and outs of GPS tracking of sex offenders. They haven't tried it yet in my jurisdiction but its coming. There is a program run by Volunteers of America to track [Read More]

Tracked on Feb 19, 2008 2:20:18 PM

Comments

RE: And in what some characterize as an extreme variation of tracking technology, an Ohio company is promoting a device — which anyone could buy — that would vibrate whenever a bracelet-wearing sex offender comes within 50 yards.

With the way things are going MANY people are placed on GPS. Not just sex offenders. I guess there will be a whole lot of shaking going on. Who is really profitting? Ka ching, Ka ching, Ka ching.

Posted by: America land of the free? | Feb 19, 2008 8:49:54 AM

print 2 Tracking Systems

Posted by: m_trivedi@hotmail.com | Jun 14, 2008 6:06:43 PM

print 2 Tracking Systems

Posted by: m_trivedi@hotmail.com | Jun 14, 2008 6:08:03 PM

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