OK Senate Approve GPS Tracking of Offenders

February 18, 2010

Alva Review/Courier: OK Senate Approves GPS Monitoring of Sex Offenders .

The Oklahoma Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Public Safety and Judiciary on Wednesday approved legislation that would allow Oklahoma law enforcement officials to monitor many of the state’s sex offenders through electronic monitoring devices. Senate Bill 2301 would make electronic monitoring devices mandatory for all Level Two and Three sex offenders who have been released from custody, and provides penalties for removal of the device.

Level Two and Three sex offenders are considered the state’s most dangerous, having been convicted of crimes such as rape in the first degree, kidnapping for sexual exploitation and soliciting sexual conduct with a minor.

Sen. Dan Newberry, author of the proposal, said the law would enable law enforcement to monitor the whereabouts of offenders at all times. “The idea behind adding the GPS monitor is that offenders are currently released from prison into an honor system (as are all those released from prison, yet only sex offenders are subject to this monitoring) , and they still may not register as a sex offender,” said Newberry, R-Tulsa.

Under the measure, Level Two sex offenders would be required to wear the GPS monitoring device for a period of five years after their release from a correctional facility. Level Three sex offenders would be required to wear a GPS monitoring device for ten years following their release.

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