In the 2015 legislative session, state Rep. Carl Trujillo, D-Santa Fe, introduced a bill to address using GPS data in restraining order cases.
I’m very surprised at the headline. It doesn’t gel with what is actually a very interesting story and one I haven’t come across before. Using GPS anklets for convicted offenders who are on home detention, or on a restraining order is becoming more common.
In this case we are talking about a bail condition on someone who might otherwise not meet the bail conditions pre-trial.
This is a very low cost solution where the premise is that this is a lower level crime and there is little risk of flight, given that if the person goes somewhere they shouldn’t, an email gets sent out and this may count against them.
Arguments as to whether it is against someone’s constitutional rights are moot. One would assume that most people would prefer to wear an ugly bracelet than go directly to jail to await their day in court and be happy to waive those rights. The cost savings to all are significant.
I do not get the reference to whether a GPS monitor is effective. Unless they are faulty, GPS monitors are always effective. The question is whether the software and the alerting system is effective.
If, as in this story, they are happy to have an email go to the Court’s Pretrial Services Division, then they clearly do not see that offender as a risk.
Where these systems fall down is in the commitment to monitoring the systems and training those responsible for monitoring and maintenance. However even when these systems are poorly maintained, there will be a percentage of people who are more likely to comply, simply because they are wearing the monitor and don’t like the alternative.