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January 27, 2009

"Sex Offenders' GPS Devices Not a Silver Bullet, States Say"

The title of this post is the title of this intriguing article from the site Government Technology.  Here are excerpts from the start of a piece that is a must-read for anyone hoping (or fearing) that GPS tracking is the future of corrections:

GPS monitoring -- embraced as a simple technological solution for tracking the whereabouts of convicted sex offenders -- is proving to be something less than a silver bullet for state and local public safety agencies.

Convinced that GPS monitoring was the answer to the sex offender problem, judges and lawmakers began mandating the technology for high-profile parolees. Beginning in 2005, the technology was widely deployed as means to ensure that offenders complied with the terms of their release, such as staying a safe distance from schools or a victim's home.

Monitoring systems typically consist of a GPS receiver/portable tracking device, radio frequency transmitter, stationary charging unit, cellular telephone and computer software to review GPS data. The devices allow officials to track the parolees' whereabouts -- when everything works properly and when offender cooperates.

But there are problems with the way the technology is used and monitored.  False alarms number in the thousands in some jurisdictions, straining manpower and casting doubt on the viability of GPS as a tracking tool for high-profile felons.

In Arizona, a 2007 legislative study found more than 35,000 false alerts by 140 subjects wearing the GPS-monitoring devices.  In California, the percentage of transient parolees, those who've been declared homeless, has increased by 900 percent since a law was passed that included GPS as part of the solution.  Now, officials say, they're guessing about where the offenders are because more have become transient and the GPS monitoring can be unreliable, especially when the offenders lack real housing where they can charge the devices....

Though public safety officials typically agree that GPS is a valuable tool, they say it's not a replacement for personal contact with the subject, his co-workers, family and friends that keeps the offender honest.

Some related posts on GPS tracking and related technocorrections:

January 27, 2009 at 06:49 AM | Permalink


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Yes, my pedophile father is homeless. So, I can imagine the transient issue is huge for this. I am founder and maintain THE BLOG CARNIVAL AGAINST CHILD ABUSE. This would be a good item for our "In The News" category, if you'd like to submit it. We have a deadline coming up 2/4 for a 2/6 carnival edition. Thanks for considering.

Posted by: marj aka thriver | Feb 2, 2009 1:08:49 PM

Recommend surgery for those people who do not like how they look and can change its look and live a better life ...

Posted by: dental health care | Apr 29, 2010 5:04:04 PM

I just read a similar article to this one on a different post here, and I agree with the use of GPS-equipped devices for monitoring some sex offenders. Violent offenders should recieve serious jail time; however, instead of simply getting a GPS strapped around their ankles.

Posted by: GuideDog | Jul 6, 2010 2:37:57 PM

Great information ! Thank you for telling advantages of GPS equipped devices. I think it is really very much useful for monitoring some sex offenders..

Posted by: vintage rings | Jul 13, 2010 1:21:51 PM

Good blog! Thank you for discussing the advantages of GPS equipped devices. I think it is really very much useful for monitoring some sex offenders..

Posted by: vintage rings | Jul 13, 2010 1:23:03 PM

Thanks! Great Blog! Very useful information!

I’m glad to see this post.

Thanks again!

Posted by: גרר | Dec 30, 2010 11:27:11 AM

Great Job! Great Site! Very Interesting!


Posted by: מוסך מאזדה | Jan 6, 2011 6:19:49 AM

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