Where's the Criminal? GPS Knows, Most of the Time

It's no fashion accessory. Judges in Connecticut require some convicted of crimes to wear a GPS tracking device.

Global positioning satellite technology has its problems, but a new report says it seems to track convicts in the state pretty well. But with qualifications:  It tracks them pretty well, most of the time, at least as well as in any other state.

In September, the clunky device erroneously indicated a convicted rapist on probation had left his sister's property in Southbury without permission. That prompted the state Judicial Branch to look at the use of electronic monitoring and the company that offers the service.

David Pollitt was charged with a probation violation, but it was dropped after officials determined the monitoring device wasn't working properly.

The report indicates environmental factors, such as rolling hills and heavy foliage, played a part in interrupting Pollitt's GPS signal.

The report also warns of unrealistic expectations of the tracking technology.

The tools do not effectively track vertical movement and it is better suited to track offenders in suburban and rural environments than to urban settings, the report says.   

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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