An Auditor Who Can Add Two Plus Two

This is about G{S Tracking?  OK it does that headline look a little ‘snarky’?  Well I suppose it is.  I have worked with a number of municipal and country auditors in the past and tried to work with several state office … but they mostly look at the information that proves to them they are losing big time and say, "Ho hum, is it lunch time yet"?

This is a fact that will stand up to an audit.  You can take it to the bank.  Most states don’t even know how many sex offenders they have … or how many cars they have on the road for that matter.  Sad but true.

As far as knowing where any of them are?  Ha!  As we say in the state right across the Delaware from Pennsylvania … "Fugedaboudtit"!

The most typical excuse is "we don’t have the funding".  But ladies and gentlemen, that is a cop out.  EVERY state has the funding to track sex offenders, what most of them lack is the leadership and will to live up to their responsibilities.

A citizen commits a sex crime.  Fact of life, can’t be helped.  Said citizen must be punished both for his/her crime and to act as a deterrent to others,  It is the way our society works.  Has to be done, and every state is funded for various forms of law enforcement, courts and corrections.

Put the offenders back out on the street with the normal ‘check in every week or two with the parole officer’ model of probation and you get:

  • Offenders who lie about where they have been, where they live and who make a mockery of the system
  • Over-worked, under-funded parole officers who can’t keep up with the information they are being fed.
  • Over-worked, under-funded law enforcement personnel waste effort in catching the same offenders again and again.
  • More victims hurt by the same offender.  The saddest outcome of all.

"Put the bastards in jail and end the problem" you cry!  "Stop "mollycoddling" the offenders.  OK, fair enough,let’s look at that avenue:

  • Over-crowded prisons.  Who will you release early to put the sex offender in?
  • 10 to 20 times the cost to incarcerate versus supervised GPS tracking.
  • No way to recover the costs to the state … prisoners can’t hold real jobs while inside in most cases.
  • The offender’s family on welfare because you have the breadwinner locked up.
  • The offender’s children, lacking a decent life and supervision starting the next generation of crime.

That doesn’t sound much to me as if there is any savings involved.  So what’s my solution (and auditor Wagner’s as well) is put a GPS tracking bracelet on them, charge them the cost of the GPS tracking program (hey, 99.9% of them are going to pay a modest monthly fee to stay out of jail, I surely would) and send them out to find their own place to sleep and get their own job to pay their bills.  The state saves fortune on prison operating costs, parole office operation costs, law enforcement time, welfare costs and even makes profit on the offenders when they pay their income taxes.  All pluses.

And the chances of those offenders repeating their crimes are cut by a factor of hundreds or even thousands.  Some GPS tracked parolees might commit a second crime but compared to unsupervised parolee’s re-offending the chances are vanishingly small.

Protect your citizens and save them money at the same time?  How great an idea is that?  Thanks Jack!

 

PA Auditor General Jack Wagner Recommends Use of GPS Technology to Keep Track of Registered Sex Offenders

Last update: 1:15 p.m. EDT July 22, 2008

HARRISBURG, Pa., July 22, 2008 /PRNewswire-USNewswire via COMTEX/ — Special report finds that state didn’t know whereabouts of 923 offenders

Auditor General Jack Wagner today recommended that the Pennsylvania State Police and the Board of Probation and Parole should request that the General Assembly amend the state’s Megan’s Law to require five years of global positioning system (GPS) monitoring for sex offenders who break the state law requiring them to verify their addresses.

Wagner also recommended that the state police and probation board should request that the General Assembly amend Megan’s Law to require at least five years of GPS monitoring for all sexually violent predators whose victims are children.

Wagner made the recommendations in a special report, released today, which disclosed that, in early June, the state had lost track of 923, or nearly 10 percent, of the state’s approximately 9,800 registered sex offenders…  (read the rest of the article on GPS Tracking for Sex Offenders here, it’s worth a look)