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GPS Monitoring Effective?

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Sacramento, CA — A new state report looks at the effectiveness of law enforcement agencies using GPS devices to monitor sex offenders.

Proposition 83, Jessica’s Law, was passed by voters in 2006. It requires sex offenders, paroled from prison, to wear GPS tracking devices, and limits where they can reside. The report conducted by the Inspector General was requested by former Senate leader Darrell Steinberg after two sex offenders, required to wear GPS bracelets, raped and killed four women in Southern California.

Law enforcement personnel told the Inspector General’s Office that GPS monitoring is an effective tool in locating offenders, tracking their movement, and solving crimes. However, little, if any, evidence exists to prove that the monitoring devices help prevent future crimes.

The report also finds that 60% of the parole agents that supervise offenders have caseloads that exceed departmental ratios. In addition, the laptops used to track movements are seen as becoming cumbersome, and should be replaced with handheld devices.