BILL NUMBER: S6867
TITLE OF BILL :
An act to amend the executive law, in relation to establishing the
"protection of victims of domestic violence act"
The purpose of this legislation is to release defendants under
protective conditions, which mayor may include a global device in
efforts to protect the welfare of the victim. Under these conditions
of release, the defendant who is charged with a crime involving
domestic violence shall be monitored by a global positioning system.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS :
Section one of the act amends the executive law by adding a new
article 22-A, containing sections 636 and 637 of said law.
Section 636 of the executive law provides that this legislation shall
be entitled "the protection of victims of domestic violence act.
Section 637 of the executive law provides that if a judge releases a
defendant charged with domestic violence, who is subject to conditions
reasonably necessary to protect one or more named persons and such
conditions are made part of a protective order, he or she shall be
subject to arrest without a warrant and/or may have his/her bail
forfeited or revoked if such conditions are violated.
Section 637 additionally provides that a court may order a defendant
in a domestic violence proceeding to carry or wear a global
positioning system (GPS) device as a condition of his/her release and,
upon the informed consent of the victim, the court may require such
defendant to provide the victim with a receptor device capable of
notifying the victim if the defendant is in proximity to such victim
(as is determined by the judge in consultation with the victim). The
GPS device shall be paid for by the defendant, unless such defendant
opts to perform community service instead of paying for such device.
Finally, section 637 explicitly does not limit the ability of the
judge to impose other protective or release conditions allowed under
other areas of the law.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the
National Institute of Justice, 25% of women have experienced domestic
violence in their lifetime. (See, Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes,
EXTENT, NATURE AND CONSEQUENCES OF INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE ,
findings from the National Violence Against Women Study, USDOJ,
National Institutes of Justice, Center for Disease Control, July
2000.) Estimates range from 960,000 incidents of violence against a
current or former spouse, boyfriend or girlfriend, to as many as 1.3
million women who are physically abused by an intimate partner each
year. (See, U.S. Department of Justice, Violence by Intimates:
Analysis of Data On Crimes by Current or Former Spouses, Boyfriends
and Girlfriends, March 1998.)
Nearly 81% of women stalked by a current or former intimate partner
are also physically assaulted by that person, and roughly 31% are also
sexually assaulted by that person. (See, Patricia Tjaden & Nancy
Thoennes, "Stalking in America," National Institute for Justice
(1998)). Finally, the estimated cost of intimate partner violence
exceeds $5.8 billion each year, more than 70% of which is for direct
medical and mental health services. (See, "Costs of intimate partner
Violence Against Women in the United States," 2003, Centers for
Disease Control and Prevention.)
Domestic violence affects hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers
annually. Each year, an estimated 400,000 domestic violence incidents
are reported to law enforcement in New York, and roughly 300,000 calls
are received by hotlines throughout the State.
Domestic violence is also a chronically under reported crime. While
there are many theories, one possibility is a perception that the
necessary precautions needed to protect victims of domestic violence
are insufficient, or rarely implemented in a comprehensive manner.
One example is the use of orders of protection, which are often unable
to adequately protect individuals (and their children) from abuse,
which creates a sense of helplessness and leads to unreported
(See http://www.ncadv.org/files/Domestic ViolenceFactSheet
(National).pdf; and see
Furthermore, after the victims seek the protection of the police or
courts, their batterers often lash out at the victim in what is
labeled "retribution assault." There is an obvious need, therefore, to
close this gap in the protection extended to victims of domestic
There are currently 387 monitoring devices in use within New York
State by the Division of Parole. Five are older technology radio
frequency identification (RFID) devices, and 382 are Global
Positioning System (GPS) devices. These GPS devices have multiple
uses, among which is the monitoring of sexual offenders and parolees
and, potentially, domestic violence offenders.
The use of GPS technology to track domestic abusers has been
implemented, or is in the process of being adopted, by multiple
states, including California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Louisiana,
Minnesota, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Washington, and
the District of Columbia. (See, Maura Kelly, "Tracking Device: How
about using GPS monitoring to stop batterers?" Slate, May 4, 2007.)
In Massachusetts, judges have statutory authority to order offenders
who have violated an order of protection to wear a GPS device.(See
H.B. 30, 184th Gen. Ct., Reg. Sess. (Mass 2005), cited in Diane L.
Rosenfeld, "Correlative Rights and the Boundaries of Freedom:
Protecting the Civil Rights of Endangered Women," 43 Harv.
C.R.-C.L.L. Rev. 257, 261 (2008). The legislation also allows judges
"to establish as a condition of probation, geographic exclusion zones,
which can include the victim's residence, place of work, children's
schools, or other places frequented by the victim." (Rosenfeld, Id.
Although it is difficult to generalize, the Massachusetts experiment
with GPS tracking of domestic abusers has reportedly shown very
positive results. Between 2005 and 2007, domestic violence linked
homicides increased 300%, but in the city of Newburyport, where the
most concentrated effort to use GPS tracking has been implemented,
there were no such homicides during those two years. (See, Ariana
Green, "More States Use GPS to Track Abusers," The New York Times, May
9, 2009, htto://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/09/us/09gps.html). Such a
result implies the need for New York to adopt such a program with
regard to domestic abusers.
The effectiveness of GPS tracking of domestic violence perpetrators
can be enhanced by instituting bilateral monitoring as an additional
safeguard for victims of domestic violence. (See, Edna Erez, Peter R.
Ibarry, Norman Lurie, "Electronic Monitoring of Domestic Violence
CasesA Study of Two Bilateral Programs," 68-Jun Fed. Probation 15
(2004)). Bilateral monitoring provides the victim with a GPS enabled
device that will detect the presence of the defendant when he or she
enters a defined radius, warn the victim, and immediately contact law
enforcement. (See, Erez, Ibarra, Lurie, Id. at 16.) Because bilateral
monitoring has been shown to increase the protection offered to
victims of domestic abuse, this legislation includes such a program.
This legislation will give courts new tools to protect victims of
domestic violence, and will give victims an enhanced manner of
enforcing protective orders, and greater protection from batterers who
violate such orders of protection.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY :
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS :
EFFECTIVE DATE :
This act shall take effect on the one hundred eightieth day after it
shall become law.