State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) introduced legislation in the Senate last week that would require Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring of violent sex offenders statewide. Assemblyman David Koon will be introducing the companion bill in the Assembly. Senate bill 4656 amends the correction law to require that certain sex offenders be continuously monitered as to their location and makes it a crime to violate the monitoring provision.
"There isn’t enough being done to keep our children and families safe from sexual predators," stated Senator Bonacic. "We need tougher laws and we need to use the best technology available to prevent sexual offenders from repeating these heinous crimes."
According to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services, there are as many as 5,275 level 3 registered sex offenders residing in communities throughout New York State. The total number of registered sex offenders is over 20,000. Under this legislation, parole officers, and probation officials can track offenders in real time and monitor their every move.
Senator Bonacic said the GPS is not a replacement, however, for parole officers, probation officers, or jail time. "This measure should be considered supplemental. There isn’t a jail cell that can be replaced by a computer, nor is a computer monitor worth more than a parole officer. What has been found in other jurisdictions, however, is that when GPS monitoring is implemented, recidivism rates go down," Senator Bonacic said.
Senator Bonacic concluded, "Recently, some counties have proposed implementing GPS monitoring, however, having the system in one county and not another doesn’t make sense. This needs to be implemented on a statewide level. I will be working diligently for the bill’s passage."
The measure is being sponsored in the Assembly by Assemblyman David Koon.