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August 26, 2008

Another reason to believe GPS technocorrections are inevitable

As regular readers know, I view GPS tracking and other (cost-saving?) technocorrections as virtually inevitable as society becomes ever-more acclimated to this kind of criminal justice innovation.  And this local article, headlined "Ankle Monitors Make the Grade in Texas," provides more evidence for my inevitability claims.  Here are excerpts:

It began in Midland as a successful way of keeping kids in school, and now its spreading across the state.  A program in Midland uses ankle monitors to track truant kids, and that has court authorities all over Texas sitting up and taking notice.  The latest city to sign up is San Antonio.

On Monday morning, the Midland County Commissioners Court re-approved the grant of about $200,000 for the tenth year in a row.  With a 95 percent success rate, their phone has been ringing from counties from all over Texas, wanting to know how they can start a similar program.  "If we're getting our kids in school, then everybody benefits," James R. Henry, Program Director of the Alternative Sentencing Program in Midland, said. 

Juvenile offenders from 10-17 years of age qualify for the monitors, but so far, Midland has only used these monitors on Jr. High and High School students....  Depending on their sentencing, students wear the tracking device between 30-180 days. "The student keeps the monitor on for as long as we feel like they need it. If they can show a pattern that they've gotten themselves back in order and attending as required, then we'll take the monitor off," Henry said....

The ankle monitors track where you are and where you've been, but the most surprising thing about this technology isn't the affect is has on the one who wears it, it's the effect that it has on other students.  "One monitor effects 15-20 other students because the students see the monitor on, and they're like, 'Oh, I don't want that. What do I have to do to stay out of Judge Cobo's court?'" Henry said.

But then officials got an unexpected result. "The parent/child relationship was an unseen success for the program, because when we put the child on the monitor, it also requires the parents to have a certain level of accountability," Henry said....  "We saw families, parents, and kids coming closer together after they've been wearing the monitor," Henry said. "And parents have been extremely receptive to the idea. They like it, they see it as something they need in order to get their kids back on track like they should."

NewsWest 9 also spoke with Judge Cobos on Monday and he tells us they can track the student's whereabouts every thirty seconds just by checking their cell phones or computers.  Now that Midland has helped San Antonio get their program underway, officials are hoping it will continue spreading around Texas and even across the U.S.

Some related posts on GPS tracking:

August 26, 2008 at 01:23 PM | Permalink


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Is it the modern day scarlet letter? Let's hope so. It's a great alternative for a multitude of prisoners who committed a crime, but don't necessarily deserve to get raped in a cell.

Posted by: babalu | Aug 26, 2008 4:24:31 PM

No, it's the modern day equivalent of this.


Everybody loves this idea so long as it's someone else being tracked. Wait until we outlaw adultery again, and require all adulterers to wear these things. Then it will be the modern equivalent of a scarlet letter.

It just goes to show: no matter how innocent the technology, there will be someone to find a way to abuse it the name of some "noble cause".

Posted by: Daniel | Aug 26, 2008 4:35:04 PM

Probably the most positive attention these kids experienced in a long time. Positive? Yes, someone cares.

Posted by: George | Aug 26, 2008 4:36:45 PM

C'mon, of course it will be abused, but it's hardly a concentration camp tattoo or the mark of the beast. And it puts people on restriction so they can go to work and try to pay some of their restitution and their outrageous and unpayable fines.

Posted by: babalu | Aug 26, 2008 5:43:19 PM


I don't think it is a GPS monitor it may use the cell phone network instead. If so
it would work for truants too young to drive that live in an urban area but not for adult offenders that can drive or live in a rural area.

A recording tattletale monitor might also work with older truants.

Posted by: John Neff | Aug 26, 2008 5:50:41 PM

technocorrections? is that what you call it. i would cut my own heart out to get that thing out of me. you are calling for an all-out revolution.

Posted by: fedup | Sep 13, 2008 9:43:48 PM

technocorrections? is that what you call it. i would cut my own heart out to get that thing out of me. you are calling for an all-out revolution.

Posted by: fedup | Sep 13, 2008 9:44:07 PM

What is technocorrections?

Posted by: Garmin user | Jun 29, 2009 4:31:59 AM

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