Friday, March 31, 2006

GPS Monitoring of Sex Offenders

I may be missing something, but I'm not sold on the legislation for GPS monitoring of sex offenders. It seems fairly expensive at 10k/offender and I suppose that's a result of the need for new staff to actively monitor these guys. I wouldn't think the system itself would cost that much.

The problem I have with that is that it seems unclear that monitoring would have a direct preventive effect because I don't know that it is all that obvious where an offense would take place. You could keep these guys away from obvious danger zones like schools and playgrounds but that really isn't sufficient to keep them away from kids. Unless you have someone constantly watching each offender's movement (or develop an incredibly sophisticated program to kick out "suspect" movements), I'm not sure that you get the bang for the buck.

It may be that "passive" monitoring is a better deal. These guys would know that, in the event of an offense, the cops would know exactly where they had been. That may deter some from offending and would certainly make apprehension of those that do easier.

On the other hand, maybe the compulsion to offend is so strong that the certainty of capture doesn't matter.

Maybe the program has more merit than is immediately apparent to me, but as someone committed to controlling the cost of government, I want new initiatives to be rigorously justified. Turning this proposal into a referendum on whether a legislator agrees that sexual predators are sleazebags makes little sense.

1 comment:

jp said...

How about two strikes and your outta here. Ammo is cheap and I am sure many would volunteer. Not rational..I know, I know.