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GPS Tracking of Washington Sex Offenders Expanded

By David M. Reutter

In September 2008, The Washington State Department of Corrections (WDOC) began requiring its most violent sex offenders to wear a GPS monitoring bracelet for the first 30 days after release from prison. The new program is an expansion of a test program that was used on a handful of Level 3 sex offenders for the last year.

The new program is expected to see 200 sex offenders wearing an ankle bracelet that alerts community-corrections staff when a prisoner strays more than 150 feet from his locator box or if the box is not charged.

“We only expand programs that we believe help improve public safety,” WDOC Secretary Edson Vail said. “These GPS locators give our officers another tool to supervise the highest-risk sex offenders.” The devices cost about $1,500 each.

As PLN readers will recall, WDOC has been found liable in several lawsuits that allege failure to supervise parolees properly. Most of those cases involved probation officers failing to violate parolees for clear improper conduct that contravened their parole conditions. The GPS tracking program began shortly after convicted sex offender Terapon Adhahn killed 12-year-old Zina Linnik in 2007.

Source: Seattle Times.

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