Put Your (GPS) Bracelet Where Your Mouth Is

I’ve written here a number of times before about the common sense and the economics of GPS monitoring of certain criminals and released sex offenders and domestic abusers.

Here’s a darn good writer and a darn interesting District Attorney candidate who are getting their heads in the game and trying to demystify the technology and prove what works/doesn’t work.

Could GPS bracelets solve our prison overcrowding problem?

Philadelphia district attorney candidate will sport a monitoring bracelet for the month

Philadelphia district attorney candidate will sport a monitoring bracelet for the month

U.S. prisons have a serious overcrowding problem. It’s gotten so bad in California that a judge ordered the state to set 40,000 inmates free.  The Governator is trying to get that ruling overturned by appealing the judge’s ruling. Over on the East Coast, Philadelphia District Attorney hopeful Michael Untermeyer has a more creative solution:

Untermeyer said Thursday the city could save millions of dollars by moving nonviolent defendants out of the prison system and keeping tabs on them electronically instead.

Untermeyer says it costs $98 a day to keep someone locked up but just $8 a day to monitor them electronically.

via Philly DA hopeful dons monitoring bracelet – National Wire – fresnobee.com .

Untermeyer is totally ‘locked in’ on this issue. He’s wearing the GPS ankle bracelet for the next month and allowing voters to track his movements online. Here are the instructions. I tried to track that scoundrel down but the software at SenTrak Offender Management Solutions doesn’t seem to agree with my computer or that of my colleague…. (read the rest, recommended)

I think the two operative take away’s from this article are Untermeyer’s current figures … $90 a day saved per offender, and the fact that this is four way win situation:

Win:  The city saves a bundle

Win: The public gets better protection

Win: The police get to use their budget more effectively, catching criminals instead of watching them

Win:  And although you might not care about the rights of the offenders, think about this … every man or woman who ‘goes straight’ under this program represents an incalculable saving to society in general, the offender’s family and the offender him or herself.  Great stuff

Go Untermeyer!