Gps Tracking Is The Wave Of The Future For Law Enforcement
Law enforcement authorities view monitoring and tracking devices that utilize global positioning systems (GPS) technology as an effective tool for punishing and controlling criminal offenders, particularly at a time when prisons are having overcrowding problems.
Because GPS tracking systems are much more effective than house arrest devices, the technology would enable law enforcement authorities to put more nonviolent offenders on satellite-based surveillance, which would free up space in prisons for the most violent criminals.
Furthermore, law enforcement authorities say GPS tracking can improve public safety because probation and parole officers will be able to monitor parolees more closely.
Invented by the U.S. military during the Cold War to mobilize troops and missiles, GPS has evolved into a successful tool for tracking down terrorists across the globe and is increasingly being used at home by law enforcement authorities.
GPS tracking is currently being used by departments and agencies in 27 states, and the American Correctional Association reports that 22,192 people were under electronic monitoring for either probation or parole in 1999.
GPS devices use a transmitter and receiver working in conjunction with aerial satellites to pinpoint the location of a subject wearing a removable personal tracking unit and a non-removable wireless ankle cuff.
Some people criticize GPS-based tracking and monitoring for encroaching on civil liberties, while others contend that its use is not punitive enough. GPS is also used to track 911 calls from cell phones and INS violations, and could be used for more cases of people tracking, such as locating child abduction victims.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Journal of Counterterrorism & Homeland Security International (05/23/03) Vol. 9, No. 1,; Stark, Jim.