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September 27, 2010

"Should sex offenders get GPS before leaving prison?"

The title of this post is the headline of this local California story.  Here is how it gets started:

At least twice in the past month, sex offenders prompted multi-agency manhunts in the North County when they refused to be monitored by GPS — a responsibility that falls on the offenders when they get out of prison. One man, who is accused of committing a sex crime the day after being paroled, was caught days later, while the second surrendered to authorities three weeks after going offline.

The cases beg the question: Why aren’t sex offenders strapped with GPS devices before leaving prison?

In San Diego County, which has roughly 500 sex offenders who are monitored by GPS, there are outstanding warrants for 10 who have either cut off their GPS bracelets or never obtained them, according to the regional Sexual Assault Felony Enforcement Task Force.

The topic has gotten the attention of local task force members, as well as state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher, R-San Diego, who authored the recently signed bill that toughened sex offender laws. His office intends to write a letter to the state Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation asking for justification to the current policy, Fletcher said last week.

“It would seem to make sense if they have to wear GPS anyway, why not give it to them immediately? Why wait a day?” Fletcher said. “In some ways it’s indicative of how broken the system is.”

Some related posts on GPS tracking and related technocorrections:

September 27, 2010 at 02:10 PM | Permalink

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Comments

“It would seem to make sense if they have to wear GPS anyway, why not give it to them immediately? Why wait a day?” Fletcher said. “In some ways it’s indicative of how broken the system is.”
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You're kidding me right? Is this guy up for re-election? Sounds like it.

If a person want's to re-offend, then not little ankle strap is going to stop it.

What is indicative of how broken the system is, is how little it takes for someone to be put on the lists and be put in the system to begin with and then the attitude that if we keep them downtrodden enough, they won't want to re-offend.

Making sure that offenders can get counseling, can find stable employment and housing once their time is served is how you fight things. Treating a criminal like he/she is a criminal even after release does nothing but create a mindset that if someone is going to be treated like a criminal, they might as well act like one.

Go back to your office and try again sir.

Posted by: Questions Authority | Sep 27, 2010 5:51:40 PM

This is not a question of whether to use GPS monitoring (that is a legitimate question, but not one I see raised by this post). The question is, given the imposition of GPS monitoring in a particular case, should the state put the proper equipment in place at the time of release.

It seems to me the answer is a clear yes. First, it ensures at least initial compliance, and second, it protects offenders from liability for simply not being able to figure out how to comply. (I know it seems like it should be a simple ministerial matter, but it can be harder than it seems.)

In these particular cases, I'll take the article at face value that these offenders were willfully noncompliant. But I have assisted several released offenders in complying with the registry requirements for various states, and in several instances I found the beauracracy difficult to untangle, even for an attorney. (It seems to vary on a county-by-county basis.) Anything that makes it easier for offenders to comply with the law seems like a win-win for everybody.

Posted by: Atty | Sep 28, 2010 10:10:21 AM

I lost my class ring...but its fine, I am about to get my collegiate ring just.

Posted by: charms thomas sabo | Dec 16, 2010 2:56:38 AM

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