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GPS tracking gives minor criminals alternatives to jail

by GPS4US 2013-07-22 16:03
GPS tracking devices are keeping criminals on the street. And yes, that’s a good thing.

The Hamilton County (Ohio) sheriff’s office owns or leases 143 electronic GPS tracking units that allow them to monitor low-level criminals, saving jail space for more serious offenders, the Cincinnati Enquirer reports. The GPS units cost about $2,500 each, and can be leased for about $3.88 per day. That’s a pittance compared to the cost of housing an inmate in an already-crowded jail.

“This is not a punitive measure," said Charmaine McGuffey, who is in charge of the county jail. “If you're sitting in jail, you can't go to work, you can't get medical treatment. I think it's absolutely the wave of the future."

So, offenders of small crimes can still contribute to society while serving their sentence. If they violate the terms of their sentence, police say, they can be taken back to jail.

The Enquirer’s report says the GPS units allow police to track convicts in almost real-time. Police can set up exclusion zones to alert them of potential domestic offenses. Police recently used the technology to find a man hiding in his car’s trunk near his ex-girlfriend’s home.

Hamilton County, which contains the city of Cincinnati, has about 1,200 inmates living in its crowded jail confines. That, along with a tightening budget means that alternative measures, such as the GPS tracking devices, make sense for the county and its citizens.

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