Eye In The Sky Will Track Offenders In Mississippi And Florida
Deadbeat dads, juveniles, domestic violence and misdemeanor cases, and those on pre-trial release for felonies will be tracked by Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite technology as of last month in areas of Mississippi and Florida.
The Gulfport/Biloxi area, the most populated region of Mississippi will begin using GPS for tracking and monitoring people on probation or under house arrest starting in early November. Deployment of the software will continue throughout the rest of the state and into the Florida panhandle near Santa Rosa County and Ft. Walton Beach.
In addition, authorities may program exclusion areas, places where the presence of an offender is prohibited; such as certain residences, schools, and child care facilities.
Court Programs, Inc. will administer the program using iSECUREtrac’s tracNET24 monitoring system which gives authorities verifiable records of where offenders have been, 24 hours per day, seven days a week.
The device allows authorities to monitor, via a satellite system, the whereabouts of offenders who are outfitted with small 12-ounce personal tracking units (PTU). A PTU receives signals from the Department of Defense’s GPS satellite system. After the PTU is docked for charging, the PTU downloads the offenders’ movements into a database accessed by correction officials.
“We are going to be the first court in the State of Mississippi and probably the only municipal court in the United States to use GPS monitoring on offenders,” said Judge Tom Payne, Chief Judge for the Gulfport Municipal Court and Associate Professor of Criminal Justice at the University of Southern Mississippi. “As the largest municipal court in Mississippi, we handle over 40,000 cases per year, many of which involve domestic violence, and stalking. tracNET24, with its GPS monitoring capabilities, provides us with a clear map of an offenders’ movements, helping us prevent serious assaults or possibly even deaths. There is no doubt that this new technology will increase public safety in the City of Gulfport.”