Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CRIME; Track Thieves

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

CRIME; Track Thieves

Article excerpt

The Florida Legislature should try to find a way to raise the funds for Global Positioning System surveillance of paroled criminals.

Under the system, a satellite tracking device would produce maps showing the location of selected parolees every minute of every day. Then, at night, the technology would cross-reference those locations to crime scenes. Parolees, knowing they would immediately be prime suspects, might not commit new offenses -- and, if they did, it would be easier to get them back behind bars.

Authorities say repeat offenders were responsible for about half of the 900,000 crimes committed in Florida last year. The old systems for monitoring offenders -- visits with parole officers and use of electronic bracelets that simply tell when an offender leaves his house -- are not adequate.

Under a plan in the Legislature, 10,600 offenders would be monitored, at a cost of $35 million. That may seem like a lot of money, during an era in which the class-size mandate is soaking up every spare penny and then some. …

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