Governor Rell: Gov. Rell Announces $$$ to Put GPS Monitors on Domestic Violence Offenders


{Seal of the State of Connecticut}

STATE OF CONNECTICUT
EXECUTIVE CHAMBERS
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT  06106

M. Jodi Rell
Governor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 3, 2010
Contact: 
860-524-7313

Governor Rell Announces $$$ to Put GPS Monitors

on Domestic Violence Offenders

  

 

            Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that the Connecticut Judicial Branch has been awarded $140,000 in federal stimulus funds to start a GPS domestic violence offender pilot project based out of Bridgeport, Danielson and Hartford.

 

            The state will use the funds to introduce GPS monitoring of domestic violence offenders who are charged in adult criminal court with violating a restraining or protective order and who have been determined to present a high level of risk.

 

            “These funds will help us take a key step forward in our domestic violence prevention efforts,” Governor Rell said. “We continue to do all we can to keep victims safe and to make our domestic violence laws the toughest in the nation. These stimulus funds could save lives and prevent senseless tragedies.”

 

            Under the program, the offender must wear an ankle bracelet at all times while the victim carries a similar device. The system will notify a victim and the police when a defendant has violated a set buffer zone or tampers with the device. This allows for the creation of mobile buffer and exclusion zones around the victim as well as stationary zones (home, work and schools).

 

            Victims will be notified that a high risk offender is near. That early warning will enable them to put a pre-determined safety plan into immediate action as law enforcement responds to the scene.

 

            This project will also increase offender accountability, as any violations will be addressed through the court process by way of increased penalties.

 

            The funds will be used to purchase the monitoring service plus some equipment for a minimum of 21 high-risk offenders. The offenders will be identified by the courts.

 

            “We are thankful to the Governor for her efforts in securing this grant funding, and we are also appreciative of the work of the Legislature’s Domestic Violence Task Force in putting a spotlight on this important issue,” Chief Court Administrator Barbara M. Quinn said. “The pilot program will enable us to track the effectiveness of this new technology prior to any statewide implementation.

 

            “While we believe that this technology will be very useful in protecting victims' safety, it is but one tool to be utilized,” Quinn said. “Domestic violence is a complex problem requiring all of the players in the criminal justice system, as well as domestic violence advocates, to continue to work together to enhance victims’ safety.”

 

            The grant runs through March 31, 2011.

 

            Last year, Governor Rell announced that the state would use over $2 million in federal stimulus funding and required matching state funds to enable domestic violence shelters to be staffed 24 hours a day, fund a training program to address dating violence among teens and pay for medical experts trained to help sexual assault victims cope with the experience and trained to collect evidence necessary to prosecute their attackers.

 

            The funding also aims to prevent emerging threats such as the use of cell phones and other digital devices to abuse young people. There is also funding to provide the very best in medical services to assault victims and to retain a half-dozen full-time prosecutors dedicated to sexual assault and domestic violence cases.



Content Last Modified on 4/5/2010 9:24:00 AM






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