Wisconsin Lawmakers Debate GPS Tracking
When the Legislature’s Finance Committee for Wisconsin reconvenes later today they will discuss and vote on whether or not to allocate funds for the state budget to be used for GPS tracking. What makes this vote so interesting is that Governor Scott Walker’s budget or any other previous Wisconsin Governor has never set money aside strictly for judges to implement a GPS tracking plan to monitor those who are served with a restraining order. However, proponents say that monitoring those under a restraining order with GPS trackers will not only enhance personal safety but potentially save lives.
Currently under Wisconsin law those convicted of domestic violence abuse are subject to undergo monitoring via GPS tracking device. This is fairly common in most states after a number of horrific incidents made news headlines where a person convicted of domestic violence would later commit murder. However, giving Wisconsin judges the discretion to utilize GPS tracking devices to monitor those under a restraining order who could be potentially violent is certainly a step in new territory.
The cost of such a plan would likely run the Justice Department roughly $3 million over the next couple years, as law enforcement and local governments would need to invest in both real-time GPS tracking hardware and monitoring services.
“GPS tracking has been used successfully to monitor those convicted of domestic violence, and most importantly giving their victims some small peace of mind”, explained an advocate for expanding monitoring services in Wisconsin. “Not only do GPS trackers offer the real-time positions of offenders, but the devices are even capable of sending out alerts that will notify the victims if the offender is near them. The new monitoring initiative proposed in Wisconsin is simply a fantastic way to provide some level of mental comfort to those who filed for a restraining order because they will never have to worry or wonder if that individual they filed a report against is lurking nearby. It’s really a going to have positive consequences.”
Do you think judges should have the power to place someone who had a restraining order filed against them under mandatory GPS tracking surveillance?
Do you think GPS tracking can reduce the potential for repeat or violent crime?