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Program Uses GPS To Track Sex Offenders

samzenpus posted more than 3 years ago | from the where-do-you-think-you're-going dept.

Crime 338

43 sex offenders in Pennsylvania's Allegheny County are wearing GPS monitoring devices as part of a pilot program designed to keep track of their movements. If the offender moves into an "exclusion zone," police are called. “Exclusion zones for example [are] schools, daycares, playgrounds, facilities where children congregate for those sex offenders,” John Hudson, a security consultant, said. “We’ve identified in their red zones. If an offender with a device goes into one of the red zones, an exclusion zone, we’ll be notified immediately.”

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WTF (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34850758)

I understand the need to protect the kids. But what about you pay for your previous mistakes and then you can continue with your life if you learned ? So not only this person goes to jail, but he has to pay for the same mistake all of his life ? Where is the justice in that ?

Re:WTF (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850804)

Unfortunately, sex offenders have a very high recidivism rate. Real sex offenders, that is. People do get added to the sex offender list for the wrong reasons, IMHO. But real sex offenders have a disease that is not cured by jail time.

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850944)

If you're a danger to society, go to prison. If you're no longer a danger, go free. This gray area of "you're free... but..." is just insulting on so many levels.

Re:WTF (4, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851024)

So, what do you suggest we do, keep dangerous sex offenders in prison forever? How is that any less cruel than letting them go free, but keeping them away from situations likely to trigger their disease? It's more expensive, as well.

Re:WTF (4, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851100)

Look, if you're a danger to society, you should be removed from that society. Don't put people that you've removed from society because they were a danger back into it if you think they still pose a threat. It's just illogical. Plus, if it's a mental disease, prison wasn't the answer in the first place. A mental institution/facility would be more appropriate, don't you think? Only release when rehabilitated enough to no longer pose a threat and/or are "cured".

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851238)

Define "society".

Say I'm only dangerous on the dance floor, but I'm so dangerous I crush anyone that tries to tango with me (misdemeanor battery).

Should I be locked away forever? Or should they just call the fire Marshall to shut me down any time I go to town?

Pop culture references aside, I'd rather spend tax money on a device to auto-call the cops rather than spending tax money locking someone up.

Re:WTF (2, Funny)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851308)

Look, if you're a danger to society, you should be removed from that society.

Finally someone that agrees that we should greatly expand the death penalty!

Re:WTF (2)

toriver (11308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851560)

... or institute Muslim Sharia criminal law. Same thing.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851330)

So we can go the 1960s-2000 US route and life imprisonment, or the Soviet route and medicate and isolate?

I like this third route, track and monitor while letting them have some sort of freedom. It costs less to the tax payer, allows more freedom for the convicted. This program is a condition of their parole, so they've volunteered for this tracking rather than stay in prison.

Re:WTF (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851346)

And who gets to decide what is a danger to society? It would never work while the ones who shout the most or have the most money get to decide.
Also, any test that assesses your mental state based on any kind of criteria will fail http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rosenhan_experiment [wikipedia.org]

Re:WTF (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851400)

Don't put people that you've removed from society because they were a danger back into it if you think they still pose a threat.

Define "You" in the sentence above.

Define "think" in the sentence above.

Then ask yourself if you personally would like to live in a society where you could be imprisoned forever because someone "thought" you might commit a crime sometime in the future.

This is exactly what is happening at Guantanamo Bay. People being held because someone "Thinks" they might return to terrorism. Many, if not most who were released (freed, not simply transported to another prison) have returned to jihad. So they get held forever. The world is up in arms about this. Even those countries where you disappear into jail on a dictator's whim condemn this.

Now you seemingly propose this as the norm?

Re:WTF (1)

icebraining (1313345) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851520)

If anyone who poses a danger to society must be removed from it, I'd say that about 30% of the society would be removed.
DUIs, sloppy gun keeping, establishments with poor hygiene conditions, there are millions of ways where people are endangering others in a serious way, and yet "removing them from society" is not only unjust, as completely impracticable.

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

RollingThunder (88952) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851122)

Essentially, yes, keep them in prison until they're not a danger.

Of course, it only works to keep them in there if the prison industry is completely thrown on it's ear, and turned from a penal system into a treatment system, trying to rehabilitate instead of just incarcerate.

Remember though that there are different types of "incarceration", and some include home stay or open prisons. In essence, yes, these released people ARE still incarcerated, just in their own homes, and under constant monitoring. That may be the only balance that works.

Re:WTF (5, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851538)

The larger problem is, the recidivism rate is drastically increased by the treatment of those who serve their sentences when they get out. This applies not just to "sex offenders" but just about all of the population.

Can't find a job, can't get a home? Increased recidivism rate. Yet how many jobs ask for a background check and whether you've served jail time in the past X years when you apply, and won't hire anyone with any record at all?

Sex offenders get it really bad because of problems like this [go.com] . Imagine you're a "sex offender" whose only option, thanks to the "exclusion zones" getting bigger and bigger and overlapping all over, is to live in a shack under a fucking bridge. Now imagine you can't find work because any commute takes you through an "exclusion zone" even if you could find a job. Fuck, even "low income" or manual-labor jobs like construction are out of the question; you are actually under more restrictions than the illegal aliens even if you're desperate enough to work for illegal-alien, under-the-table slave wages.

Step one is reforming the prison system to work more towards rehabilitation and less to "throw them all in a dang pit and forget about it." In this, the Republicans really can be called Retardicans, because they're the ones calling for ever-increasingly-tough "punishments" constantly until the punishments massively outstrip the crimes and tend to serve not to rehabiitate, but forever debilitate the incarcerated so that they'll never be able to reform and rejoin society, ever. Retardicans are responsible for the fact that today's prisons are places where violent gang criminals [albanyherald.com] are taught to be even nastier.

Step two is making sure that, once people get out and reenter society, they're given a chance to actually reintegrate and become productive members. Our current system of "exclusion zones" may help somewhat, but it's far too onerous and makes it impossible for those caught in its web to survive. "Instant GPS phones the cops" is going to mean "fuck, he clipped the edge of it trying to get food in a grocery store" for these amazingly huge zones - a 2500 radius exclusion zone is 5 city blocks' radius.

Re:WTF (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851156)

The idea of parole has never been insulting. That's all this is...parole. Screw up and back you go....

Re:WTF (3, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851198)

No, it's not the same as parole. Parole ends.... The scarlet letter never comes off....

Re:WTF (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851408)

How do you gauge something like that though?

It's never black and white, there's a reason for the grey area. I do a crime, I do some time. Am I safe for society? Who knows. I'll spout whatever your lawyer says to get you on parole.

How do I know you aren't a danger to society right now? How do I know you won't commit murder tomorrow? Should I lock you up as a danger to society? Or how about being Jailed for a decade - can I assume you've learned your lesson? The whole idea of the grey area is to be both fair and perceptive. Either you are suggesting that those who are safe for society spend longer in prison than necessary and over compensating for the crime they've comitted, or you are being naive that people won't act out again.

I don't agree with the GPS tracking or anything like that, I think it violates a part of your freedom you should have, after all, you aren't wearing a GPS in prison, are you?
But to put everything in black and white like that is just silly.

Re:WTF (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850970)

But real sex offenders have a disease that is not cured by jail time.

Which should kind of make you think that maybe we're not responding to their actions in the correct way. Imagine you have a dog that pisses in the house, and every time it does you lock it in it's crate for an hour but the dog's behavior doesn't change. Are you just going to keep locking the dog up every time it pisses inside or are you going to try something else to change the behavior?

Re:WTF (5, Insightful)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850984)

That is a common misconception. In fact, the recidivism rate among people convicted of child molestation is lower than for any other kind of criminal. It is true that there is a core population of child molesters who are incurable recidivists, but that represents less than 10% of the total, and I think less than 5%. Look up real statistics from actual research on criminal behavior and don't rely on the stories fed to you by the media.

I retract my earlier statement (5, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851120)

It appears you are entirely correct. I had always heard that high recidivism was the reason we treated sex offenders differently. Turns out that sex offenders have a lower recidivism rate than any other class of crime except murder. So why do we treat them differently?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_offender#Recidivism_rates [wikipedia.org]

Re:I retract my earlier statement (5, Insightful)

rotide (1015173) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851148)

Simple answer, punishing boogymen gets people elected/paid.

Re:I retract my earlier statement (5, Interesting)

Omnifarious (11933) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851166)

We treat them differently because as a society we do not want to think about this sort of crime at all. We don't want to understand it. It's scary and frightening and we would prefer to class those who commit these sorts of crimes as monsters than trying to understand why and what might be broken that would cause these sorts of things to happen.

I also have a theory that every generation has a way of trying to class a group of males as totally unfit. Men and women are born in approximately equal numbers, but in fact we are somewhat polygynous in our actual behavior. This requires getting a large number of males either killed, or out of the dating pool.

That last theory I realize is highly speculative and somewhat trollish. :-)

Re:I retract my earlier statement (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851412)

we are somewhat polygynous in our actual behavior. This requires getting a large number of males either killed, or out of the dating pool.

Or we need to acknowledge that women are promiscuous also; humans are not gorillas.

Re:I retract my earlier statement (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851276)

Even if the recidivism rate was inline with other serious crimes, that still wouldn't explain why we'd let a convicted child murderer or a serial rapist go free after his or her prison sentence was complete, but not a child molester (or, as is more frequently the case, a public urinator or an 18 year old with a 17 year old girlfriend).

Re:I retract my earlier statement (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851402)

Is this because too many crimes are considered sex crime?

Re:I retract my earlier statement (1)

tukang (1209392) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851506)

Is it possible that the recidivism rate is lower *because* we treat them differently? Isn't that the entire point of programs like these - to lower the recidivism rate?

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851470)

"Sex offender" is a very vague term. It encompasses people who raped children and people who had consensual sex with underage teens. I would suspect the recidivism is only a problem for the former category, yet they seem to be treated the same by the "system".

Re:WTF (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851090)

Unfortunately, sex offenders have a very high recidivism rate. Real sex offenders, that is.

You are wrong again. I don't know what causes you to lie, but unlike you I will give references to my statements of fact:

In Vermont, for instance, correctional officials tracked 195 adult male sex offenders over a six-year period. The sexual re-offense rate for those who completed treatment was 5.4 percent, versus a 30 percent rate for those who refused treatment or did not complete it.

- Reference: http://www.vnews.com/sexcrimes/recidivism.htm [vnews.com]

Sex offenders were less likely than non-sex offenders to be rearrested for any offense

- Reference:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sex_offender#Recidivism_rates [wikipedia.org]

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851140)

There is an important difference between "sex offender" and "child molestor."

As I understand, that distinction is lost on the law.

Someone who shows his ass in public is labeled a "sex offender" even though he never did anything wrong to a child.

So, do such petty offences warrant such extreme punishments? Or are such petty offenders treated differently? I was given to understand that people get added to sex offender registeries reguardless of their actual offence, leaving vigilantees to punish them all as if they had all raped children.

And that is not just.

Re:WTF (1)

jellomizer (103300) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851142)

I agree. However there are the stupid mistakes + a hard ass judge.
General Rule of thumb if you are older (Age/2)+7 is the minimum age you should date for the US Culture.
So if you are 22 and younger mistakes of a healthy mind can be made, causing criminal time and branding for life.

Sex offenders have LOW recidivism rates (4, Informative)

ClintJCL (264898) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851246)

Stop spreading bullshit. The rate is 5 percent. According to the Office of Justice Programs of the United States Department of Justice, in New York State the recidivism rates for sex offenders have been shown to be lower than any other crime except murder. Another report from the OJP that studied recidivism of prisoners released in 1994 in 15 states accounting for two-thirds of all prisoners released in the United States that year,[4] reached the same conclusion. Read some facts yourself [wikipedia.org] , then verify them with google [google.com] .

Not being full of bullshit: an easy process.

Re:WTF (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851348)

Unfortunately, sex offenders have a very high recidivism rate. Real sex offenders, that is. People do get added to the sex offender list for the wrong reasons, IMHO. But real sex offenders have a disease that is not cured by jail time.

I agree, but this "solution" is just a bit over the top. I didn't RTFA, but is there some kind of time limit to this (red zone for 5 mins = police)? Can it detect intentions (did the pedo try to travel near that playground or did it just happen to be along a route he was taking)?

Re:WTF (1)

mldi (1598123) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851440)

Sorry for responding to my own post, but I'd also like to add that most people would be surprised what constitutes a "sex offender". There are also varying degrees and different crimes that make up these people. Does everyone get GPS tracked or is it just the pedos (that's the only one I can think of that would have "red zones")? Shouldn't we reserve this for more serious sex crimes or multiple offenders? What happens to the 19yr old that had sex with a 17yr old (depending on the state the 19yr old lives in)?

Re:WTF (1)

catmistake (814204) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851512)

People do get added to the sex offender list for the wrong reasons, IMHO.

food for thought: That means, Mr. Allender wrote, based on studies of teenage sexual activity, that “nearly half of the teenagers in North Carolina and Virginia are felons.” [nytimes.com]

This tracking system appears to violate the equal protection clause of the 14th Amendment, which provides that "no state shall ... deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

Re:WTF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34850854)

I agree with you. They paid their debt, so why can't they live their lives? However, it's extremely difficult to argue for justice when the opposing side is using an emotional appeal.

Where's the registry (with Google Map) of murderers, shoplifters and con-artists?

Re:WTF (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850878)

FTFA:

More than 1,100 registered sex offenders live and work in Allegheny County and 43 of them are now wearing monitoring devices as a condition of their parole.

Really, I don't understand the whole "it's uncool to RTFA" thing. Reminds me of the redneck middle school I attended, where it was "uncool" to be intelligent.

Re:WTF (1)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850980)

I do agree with your general sentiment, but these guys are on parole. They haven't served out their time completely yet.

Sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34850768)

.. I want MY neighbourhood to be an exclusion zone!
And I will vote for whoever is not evil enough to oppose making it one.

Sad (4, Insightful)

Theotherguy_1 (1971460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850776)

The modern Scarlett Letter. What a sick, sad joke.

Re:Sad (-1, Troll)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850904)

Because child molesters and rapists with amazingly high recidivism rates don't deserve the stigma at all. I'm sure you'd be comfortable hiring one to be a babysitter if that's your view.

Re:Sad (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850930)

If they are so dangerous...why are they not kept in prison for the protection of society? Last I checked, that was part of the whole "prison concept."

Re:Sad (1)

icebike (68054) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851118)

If they are so dangerous...why are they not kept in prison for the protection of society? Last I checked, that was part of the whole "prison concept."

The "prison concept" is still (legally) viewed as "Corrections", and is based on the pretty much totally debunked myth that you can change future behavior by locking someone up for a period of time. Even if there were a veiner of behavior modification treatment/education available in prison (there isn't), the concept would still be suspect.

Be that as it may, if you can come up with a way to rule out recidivism in advance, AND get it passed through the various legislatures, then we are all ears. But baring that, we have this basic problem of incarcerating someone for a crime they MIGHT commit, which, most folks find unfair.

Re:Sad (2)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851208)

we have this basic problem of incarcerating someone for a crime they MIGHT commit, which, most folks find unfair.

Yet nobody finds it unfair that we have lists of people who have to announce their crimes to their neighbours, who are barred from living or working in certain areas, and who have to now walk around with a bracelet on that starts beeping whenever they get "too close" to designated buildings? It has gotten to the point where sex offenders are actually forced to live under a bridge in some areas:

http://www.aclufl.org/tuttle/ [aclufl.org]

If this is not considered unfair, then why should a prison sentence be considered unfair?

Re:Sad (1)

halivar (535827) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851278)

I can't argue with that, because I agree.

Re:Sad (2)

CyprusBlue113 (1294000) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850962)

Then keep them in jail.

But this "list" is not anything like what you just described. It is in fact mostly public urination, statutory rape based solely on age of consent not actual consent, and the like by the numbers.

Re:Sad (1)

Theotherguy_1 (1971460) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851000)

Because ALLEGED child molesters and rapists ...

This is why black lists and branding shouldn't be used as punishments. I can imagine there are several innocent people convicted of some kind of sexual crime now on a hiring black-list, putting signs in front of their houses, being tracked by GPS, etc.

If we're going to brand citizens convicted of sexual crimes, why not also brand all other criminals. After all, you wouldn't want to do business with someone convicted of thievery, right?

Re:Sad (1)

rwa2 (4391) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850932)

Hey, does it work like Dan Brown's "GPS dot" in the Da Vinci Code?

/ can't believe I read that book all the way through

// should have followed my instinct to stop after the second blatant spelling error

/// haven't seen it, but maybe the first time the movie version is better than the book?

GPS'es require line of sight (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34850782)

My GPS gets a poor signal under some conditions which are easy to replicate. What makes this a suitable technology for tracking?

Re:GPS'es require line of sight (2)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850916)

It's not really. But it is a fairly suitable method for making people to feel like they're safe.

Re:GPS'es require line of sight (1)

Manfre (631065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851128)

It's just like the TSA and the new X-ray back scatter devices. There is a lot of money to be had by providing technology and services that grant the illusion of safety, but don't actually deliver on their promise.

Re:GPS'es require line of sight (1)

Zerth (26112) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851298)

I'm guessing this device does nothing when wrapped in foil, except perhaps alert the cops the subject is now "invisible".

Branding would be easier (1)

BitZtream (692029) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850794)

Why don't we just brand their heads with something like 'Molester' or the like, it would be far easier on everyone involved.

Children would know to watch out for them.

Adults would know if there happens to be a molester watching the kids in the playground.

Its more visible than a red M.

Probably would be easier on the offender since its a safe bet there are daycares, schools and tons of other 'red zones' scattered all over any urban area that you'd be very hard pressed to avoid without constantly referencing a map or just staying at home.

Hell, just keep them in jail, that really is probably the easiest solution on everyone including the criminals.

Re:Branding would be easier (0)

Shikaku (1129753) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851212)

Like the Jews?

Godwin'd already.

Re:Branding would be easier (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851372)

No, like the people who are hurting innocent children.

The Red Zone (1)

snspdaarf (1314399) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850816)

is No Molesting. The White Zone is...

Implementation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34850824)

I thought the whole GPS tracking of sex offenders was nothing but a sham, where offenders go near schools while wearing their tracking devices, yet no one (including the police) does anything about it. Did they fix the system?

Uhh.. (3, Interesting)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850828)

I don't really understand why people like this aren't kept in prison. If they have a high chance of committing another crime, enough so this device is warranted, why would you not keep them in prison to protect people? Why not just give every criminal something like this and completely get rid of prison. If you are a violent offender and your blood pressure goes up along with your adrenaline, the cops are called. If you are a thief and you go to the store, a cop is called. It just seems ridiculous that they spend more time and money locking up nonviolent offenders when the only thing our prison system in the US is good at is isolating people from society.

Re:Uhh.. (2)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850880)

I believe that cost and lack of space are the key reasons why they are not kept locked up.

Re:Uhh.. (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850940)

Thats because they lock up people that would probably be more suited to an enforced drug rehab program.

Re:Uhh.. (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850968)

Well, maybe we need to reconsider some of the other things we throw people in prison for. If it has gotten to the point where we have so many people in prison that we are forced to release (presumably) dangerous people, we are definitely doing something wrong.

Re:Uhh.. (1)

clang_jangle (975789) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850998)

Why not just give every criminal something like this and completely get rid of prison. If you are a violent offender and your blood pressure goes up along with your adrenaline, the cops are called. If you are a thief and you go to the store, a cop is called. It just seems ridiculous that they spend more time and money locking up nonviolent offenders when the only thing our prison system in the US is good at is isolating people from society.

I've been saying this for years now. Of course it won't happen because Aramark won't get richer by not having a captive market to exploit.

foolish human... (2)

TiggertheMad (556308) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851222)

If they have a high chance of committing another crime, enough so this device is warranted, why would you not keep them in prison to protect people?

because that is not what prison is for. The legal system is there to punish people for things that they have done, not a place to put people who might do something.

If you are going to use prison to keep 'dangerous' sex offenders off the street, I want at-risk children proactively locked up for life, because they are statistically most likely to become violent criminals. Also, get more illiterate, minorities, and mentally disabled in there too, because they are more likely to cause problems for society.

If someone is a repeat sex offender, they need medical treatment, not prison. But, it seems because the are the unholy scum of the earth in the eyes of society, that proper (and costly) programs to treat them will not be funded. The real problem is the simplistic 'just throw em in prison' attitudes like you expressed.

Re:foolish human... (1)

Antisyzygy (1495469) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851364)

Not entirely. If a child molestor/rapist has done it twice or more times already then they should be isolated from children (which is easiest to do in prison) until such a time that they are cured of their problem. Prison doesn't have to be some horrible place, that's what makes it a shitty thing to do. However, some people need to be separated from society such as serial murderers, rapists, and people you keep committing assault.

Re:foolish human... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851478)

Because for a lot of these, prison is where the want to be. Roof over their head, clothing, food, entertainment and gym memberships all provided, free of charge - hell, in some ways it's like a damned hotel and spa place compared to their home life.

Now, for the record, if you just put them in, let it be known they're a child molester, the problem will resolve itself (ie the other inmates will kill or maim the sick fuck).

Personally, I prefer the 1 shot method. A bullet is a lot cheaper than prison, and there are plenty of gators about, dump their dead bodies in a swamp.

Wewease the secwet weapon... (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850856)

they should just release the gps data to the public so WE can 'keep an eye' on them... i have 2 kids and yes, i should know who they are and if they are preying on my children.

Re:Wewease the secwet weapon... (3, Informative)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851062)

they should just release the gps data to the public so WE can 'keep an eye' on them

Because you're not a law enforcement officer, and when the individual is paroled and reintegrated back to society they deserve just as much privacy protection as you and I.

When you put "'keep an eye' on them" in quotes like that it very strongly implies that you will 'take matters into your own hands' and 'make sure they don't hurt anyone again'. Modern America is no place for paranoid vigilante mob justice.

... i have 2 kids and yes, i should know who they are and if they are preying on my children.

Not all sex offenders predate on children. Some of them are on that list for no other reason than they got drunk and took a leak in a playground. The list is fundamentally broken. In large part because people fail to see sex offenders as being capable of rehabilitation, and feel like they need to 'keep an eye' on them. We have a justice system that includes rehabilitation and parole. If you think people are being released that are a continued threat to your children, your problem is just as much with the parole board as it is with the individual.

Re:Wewease the secwet weapon... (1)

mcneely.mike (927221) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851502)

Yes... ever so slyly, you uncovered my sarcasm with the quotes....
I'm talking about the real child molesters, not someone URINATING. Tell me... if you had kids, wouldn't you want to know there was someone STALKING your child and thinking (frankly) DISGUSTING thoughts about them that they WANT to act upon? If you wouldn't want to know, then you really shouldn't be a parent, you should be an ostrich with its' head in the ground.
COME ON, it is one of my jobs to want to protect my kids as best i can. I put their seat belts on, we dress them warmly in the winter, and i watch who is approaching my children when i am with them.
Not to be insensitive, but the sex drive is STRONG. If i was to be a child molester, i would want to be watched and i should be watched. (And no, i would not go vigilante on him unless i actually caught them trying to do something... then it wouldn't be vigilanti-ism (sp?), it would be dad going dad on them.)

Re:Wewease the secwet weapon... (2, Insightful)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851242)

Eh, I know people are modding you down and whatever, but I have 2 kids, and yeah. I agree, mostly. I think they should have to wear a bracelet that beeps loudly so we'll know who they are. Or something identifyable. A big tatoo on their forhead?

But not everyone. Considering that being 18 and sleeping with your 17yo girlfriend can get you classified as a sex offender, I think this should be selective.

Rape, yes.
Incest, yes.
others? maybe.

Re:Wewease the secwet weapon... (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851352)

Eh, I know people are modding you down and whatever, but I have 2 kids, and yeah. I agree, mostly. I think they should have to wear a bracelet that beeps loudly so we'll know who they are. Or something identifyable. A big tatoo on their forhead?

But not everyone. Considering that being 18 and sleeping with your 17yo girlfriend can get you classified as a sex offender, I think this should be selective.

Rape, yes.
Incest, yes.
others? maybe.

Incest? Really? Just going with your statement (and hey, I've got a daughter too), why would you be more afraid for their safety from someone who committed the crime of incest? By its very definition, it'd be unlikely that your kids would be affected by that crime. And how can you justify that one, where multiple murders, or the rape of 18 year olds, wouldn't be similarly treated?

Traffic jam arrests? (1)

Robocop559 (1973984) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850868)

I hate to sound like I'm defending them but what about when they're driving? I always end up stuck in traffic at school zones if I don't pay attention to the time.

Re:Traffic jam arrests? (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850966)

Oh, stop with the excuses already! We know the real reason you keep getting stuck in traffic in school zones is your habit of "eying little girls with bad intent"!

Re:Traffic jam arrests? (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851074)

If they have Red Zones they cannot enter. Then guess what? They won't be in the Red Zone to get into that traffic jam.

Re:Traffic jam arrests? (1)

AbbyJ (1975378) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851526)

And what happens when the placement of redzones causes there to be no legally safe place for these people to live?

http://www.dvorak.org/blog/2009/05/04/community-of-sex-offenders-forced-to-live-like-animals-under-miami-underpass/ [dvorak.org]

Here's a story of Sex Offenders that have to live under an overpass because every other place is either too close to a park, school, church, or daycare, or the landlords will not rent to them. The kicker in this is that by living under an overpass, they are likely breaking the terms of their parole which often times states that they must have a registered address. Most of these guys want a second chance; why treat them worse than those who kill?

PE4! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34850960)

Error prone, for one (1)

Amorymeltzer (1213818) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850964)

I will preemptively agree with what I assume will be an outburst at the absurdity of this, but I'll also add that this is really kind of an advancement on the technology already used to put people under house arrest. That being said, it's a very dangerous slope from being sentenced to house arrest and having your whereabouts monitored, and imagine keeping miss Lohan away from out of all bars and liquor stores? Okay, that actually sounds like a good idea, so how about any restaurant with a liquor license? I think the inanity is best exemplified by this quote:

“Because the psychology of the crime of the criminal actually is, they will re-offend and so we’re looking at persons who are recidivists,” Zappala said.

Lack of grammar aside, that's a dangerous thought, and of course patently wrong. Besides, if you are of the twisted mindset that someone will always re-offend, then you should keep them locked up and not in public anyway.

Finally, it alerts the tagged individual. If indeed it does, I hope it does so a tad of discretion. "Hey, pedo, get away from this school. Sicko." doesn't make for good sidewalk conversation.

Close the centers (4, Funny)

MBCook (132727) | more than 3 years ago | (#34850972)

“Exclusion zones for example [are ..] facilities where children congregate for those sex offenders"

How about just closing down the centers for the molesters full of children? Wouldn't that be easier than GPS tracking?

Who thought facilities to supply sex offenders with victims was a good idea in the first place?

Sounds good but.. (4, Insightful)

Entropy98 (1340659) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851010)

While 1000ft exclusion zones around schools, parks, playgrounds, daycares etc sound like a reasonable idea to most people I've always wondered how difficult it must be to actually go places and obey them.

There are so many schools, etc in most populated areas how is someone supposed to get from one side of town to the next without coming within 1000ft of a schools property? Do they distribute maps? Obeying something like this would require so much effort that I doubt anyone who actually attempted it would be successful.

The local news here once ran a story that 90% of sex offenders live within 1000ft of a bus stop. Makes a great sensationalist story, but I would bet that 90% of all people live close to a bus stop.

Obviously some sex offenders need to be kept away from children, but other than forcing them to live in the middle of nowhere I don't see an easy solution.

And these aren't the only people exclusion zones are applied to, they are also used against people carrying drugs or guns, of course most people completely ignore this unless they are unfortunate enough to get stopped in front of an elementary school with a little marijuana.

Re:Sounds good but.. (2)

Manfre (631065) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851188)

I think you're on to something. You can't get more "in the middle of nowhere" than an island. The US needs to establish an island "colony" for the individuals on the list. Given enough time, the colony could even become an independent, thriving country.

Re:Sounds good but.. (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851252)

We're halfway there:

http://www.aclufl.org/tuttle/ [aclufl.org]

Re:Sounds good but.. (1)

gknoy (899301) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851450)

I wish I could mod you informative.

I just don't get it.... (5, Insightful)

mark-t (151149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851026)

If a person is going to have to pay for the rest of their lives with such limitations on their freedom, then why not simply execute them and be done with it? Certainly it would have to be loads cheaper than maintaining the infrastructure to manage something like this. Not that I'm saying I'm a proponent of capital punishment in general, but I really don't see the point in continuing to live among other people if one is going to be forever prohibited from functioning as a normal member of society.

Re:I just don't get it.... (1)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851170)

I totally agree with you.

Re:I just don't get it.... (0)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851192)

If a person is going to have to pay for the rest of their lives with such limitations on their freedom, then why not simply execute them and be done with it?

Well I for one would rather live with a monitoring device and not be executed if I were a sex offender.

The binary logic of the slashdot crowd today is exceptionally prevalent.

Re:I just don't get it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851226)

Problem exists, though, that human life is worth living. Even with limitations. Not that I agree, but perhaps I'm warped and need help?

Re:I just don't get it.... (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851234)

Personal freedoms are limited all the time without death;
1. hold office.
2 Purchase a gun.
3. travel to certain countries.
4. drive a vehicle.
5. come within a certain distance of certain people
6. associate with criminals
7. work for financial institution
8. obtain a security clearance
9. etc
All of these are things that someone 'functioning as a normal member of society' can do. Do we kill everyone who falls in these categories?

"exclusion zone"? (1)

roc97007 (608802) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851050)

> If the offender moves into an "exclusion zone,"

What, like, the mall?

Scarlet Letter (2)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851088)

Well Hester Prynne's village would be proud. I am glad that they mark the exclusion zones red on the maps. They have got the Scarlet part of the stigma correct, but they are missing the letter. Let's just carve 'SO' into their foreheads so everyone can be safe from these dastardly outcasts of society....

By the way, just so I don't repeat Orwell's mistake, this comment is not an instruction manual.

What "type" of sex offender? (1)

MrNemesis (587188) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851138)

Can't you be classified as a sex offender in the US for things as heinous as taking a slash or having sex in a public place? Something along the lines of a sexual offence being anything that's offensive and involves genitals, rather than committing a violent sexual crime (which is most people's definition of a sex offender).

TFA was light on any details, other than this being used on 43 out of 1100 people, but even if it's just for paedophiles I can't see them being able to step out of the house, since surely there are hundreds of places where children will congregate outside of schools...?

Of course, once it's used to track paedophiles I figure you can start issuing automatic tickets to the people who pissed in public if they haven't been to a registered urination point for the last 4 hours.

Re:What "type" of sex offender? (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851218)

What does "taking a slash" mean? Public urination? If so, then no, not even the most absurdly conservative jurisdictions would classify that as a sex offender.

Re:What "type" of sex offender? (1)

tabrisnet (722816) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851414)

It's considered public exposure, give or take... b/c you were pissing on a tree, somebody might have come up alongside you and saw your dong.

And yes, it does happen.

Re:What "type" of sex offender? (1)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851500)

Not true, I'm afraid. A very little googling show's that unfortunate fact. A charge of public urination is often accompanied by a charge of indecent exposure, which is enough to get you on the list in a lot of places... sometimes, even if the act took place before the list existed.

This is scary stuff. Maybe not now, but in how easily its become "accepted."

Re:What "type" of sex offender? (3, Interesting)

rjstanford (69735) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851564)

http://www.hrw.org/en/news/2007/09/11/us-sex-offender-laws-may-do-more-harm-good [hrw.org] is a good example of some decent commentary, FWIW. Its sad to me when the threat of someone taking away our right to large-capacity rifle magazines after a political shooting gets a national outcry, but the idea of lifelong movement tracking of people who may have committed victimless misdemeanors decades ago is silently accepted. Probably because anyone who comes out against it is afraid that they'll be branded with the "pro-child-molestor" label... and put on the list.

Re:What "type" of sex offender? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851554)

What does "taking a slash" mean? Public urination? If so, then no, not even the most absurdly conservative jurisdictions would classify that as a sex offender.

Actually, they would:

http://www.bakelblog.com/nobodys_business/2007/03/florida_banishe.html

WTF (3, Funny)

alta (1263) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851154)

from the summary:

facilities where children congregate for those sex offenders

know, I'm pretty sure this is a comma placement issue, but if not, just WOW.

We sure are making it easy for sex offenders these days... But if that causes it to call the police, is that entrapment?

Odd.

What if an offender has a child they care for? (1)

Vrtigo1 (1303147) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851294)

I presume that at least some portion of convicted sex offenders have children they care for. Does this mean they can't enroll their child in day care, take them to a park, or drop them off at school?

idle? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851358)

why is this filed under idle?

Time to exploit? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851404)

How long before this technology is exploited to frame someone? No doubt a multitude of ways and reasons can be thought of over time.

Not new (1)

jklovanc (1603149) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851406)

I worked for a company that was developing this technology ten years ago. Once one has the ability to track a moving target it is trivial to check it the object in in a certain area. Here are some other applications we developed.

1. Check the a moving object was not within a certain distance of a point. Same idea as area but simpler to implement
2. Check that two moving objects do not come withing a certain distance. Restraining orders.
3. Check that object does not leave a certain area. Make sure disabled, ill and/or elderly people do not leave a designated area.

Having an email sent based on the above criteria is simple.

Cost, LE Response, & "The List" (1)

Lashat (1041424) | more than 3 years ago | (#34851474)

COST: The cost benefit for tax payers is enormous. "Special Needs" inmates like sex offenders are exponentially more costly than those in the general population. They are in protective custody from inmates that consider it their duty to kill sex offenders, especially child molesters. It is important to note that these are parolees wearing the GPS. They will be getting out someday and have agreed to wear the GPS for an earlier release.

Law Enforcement Response: This is a powerful tool for the enforcement of stay away orders in general basically getting LE one step closer to "Minority Report" level pre-emptive policing. This gives LE the ability to put offenders back in jail for parole violations instead of waiting for a new victim. Be prepared for this to become standard for all parolees because this pilot program will be successful. Everytime a parolee wanders into a Red Zone it will be treated as a prevented sex crime against a child. Powerful PR stuff.

The List: While you can find the some people on the registered sex offenders with the "indecent exposure" charge the vast majority of offenders fall into the "annoy/molest children" charge. Anyone who gets caught for public urination/indecent exposure and AGREES to register as a sex offender for LIFE needed a better lawyer. Any decent lawyer (I know there are many horrible lawyers) should have plead that down to vandalism with the max fine and even max jail time. Take the MAX sentencing for vandalism or destruction of property before registering as a sex offender for LIFE due to that lame of an offense, just to avoid jail time. Jail time ends. LIFE.. well that ends too, but you get the idea.

Shock collar? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#34851504)

Why bother the police with sex offenders moving into exclusion zones? Why not just outfit the GPS device with a device that delivers a shock?

I'd propose that the further into an exclusion zone you get, the more intense (logarithmically probably) the shock gets.

Personally I'd even further propose that the shock intensity would get to the point of execution if the offender is ignoring the shocks and continuing to move further and further into the zone. But that's just me. I'm pro-capital punishment (and not for the so-called deterrent factor that so many people say it doesn't have but simply for the financial and social benefits).

But back to shock-collars -- it works for dogs, why not sicko-sex-offenders?

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