Satellite Tracking of Criminals Proliferates
South Dakota’s Department of Corrections is launching a pilot program this January to monitor sex offenders via GPS (global positioning system) technology.
A contract has been awarded to iSECURETrac, which will oversee the initiative until June 2007. The firm is expected to eventually expand the program to include a larger portion of the state’s 1,200 registered sex offenders, the company said in a statement.
Chris Eitemiller, fiscal analyst for the state’s Legislative Research Council, said in a 2005 issue memorandum that the most successful candidates for electronic monitoring are usually property and drunk driving offenders.
Meanwhile, outgoing state Sen. Clarence Kooistra (R) notes that GPS monitoring devices can have glitches and give communities a false sense of security.
Denny Kaemingk with the state Board of Pardons and Paroles reveals that the state has yet to establish standards for who can or cannot be placed in the GPS monitoring system. He adds that the board’s first priority when making a parole decision is the safeguarding of citizens.
GPS tracking advocate Dave Johnson, executive director of the Glory House, says GPS technology should be combined with other measures such as regular visits with a parole officer, unannounced drug tests, and behavior therapy.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) from the Sioux Falls Argus Leader (SD); 12/28/06; P. 1A; LaBelle, Monica.