GPS Tracking of Domestic Violence Defendants to Prevent Homicides

Some accused of felony domestic violence in Ramsey County (Minnesota) are now offered the choice of wearing a GPS tracking device in exchange for reduced bail. 

“When a judge will order a no-contact order, which is very typical, that’s only a piece of paper. And what we ought to be thinking about is what else can we be doing to keep victims safe?” John Choi, Ramsey County Attorney said. “This GPS technology is going to be a big part of making sure we’re doing the right thing in the criminal justice system in Ramsey County.”

GPS tracking enforces that the order is upheld. This new program will help ensure that during the time between arrest and trial, the accused would not be able to stalk the victim. The defendant would wear a GPS tracking device that would alert the victim if a court-ordered no-contact proximity order is being breached.

In order to participate, both parties must consent. This program is only offered to medium-risk defendants, not high-risk ones.

Ramsey County Commissioner Victoria Reinhardt says GPS will keep victims safer. ” People are really paying attention to what is going on here and trying to do something to prevent homicides, because that is what this is really about.”

Source & photo: http://minnesota.publicradio.org/display/web/2012/11/01/law/gps-tracker-stalker