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How GPS Systems Could Reduce Jail Population

burglar brekaing into houseSadly, there is no way to hide the statistics when it comes to the prison population in the United States. According to one set of data gathered in 2009, it is said that for every 100,000 people in the U.S. population that 743 out of that sample size were or spent time in some form of jail or prison whether that be at the state or federal level. Although there is a lot of information and reports circulating to suggest that having a large prison population is in fact good business, let’s pretend that we live in a world where we want to reduce the prison population. That we want to reduce the costs associated with maintaining that population. Clearly, there are a lot of complexities and no singular model that will remedy the over crowded jail population situation, but one piece of technology that could be as close to a singular solution as possible is the personal GPS tracking system.

Real-Time GPS Tracking: How Does It Work?

Real-time GPS monitoring involves data obtained from a network of satellites orbiting the sky, a GPS receiver, cellular communication and online mapping program. That may sound pretty complicated but the application is actually rather quite user-friendly. Basically, a GPS receiver is able to determine locational data by absorbing GPS signals from satellites. This locational information includes time, date, altitude, orientation, direction and more. The GPS receiver then works with a gadget called a cellular data module that provides the mechanism to transmit the data on the GPS receiver across cellular networks. The transmitted locational data is sent to computer servers where it is integrated with mapping software where a person can literally view the data in real-time. The GPS data is formatted into a digestible version that can help a person determine the location of a vehicle, asset or individual within a couple feet! The coolest part is this GPS locational data can be viewed from a iPhone, galaxy or any cell phone with Internet connection.

GPS Monitoring Instead Of Jail

Currently, a number of people convicted of crimes are able to select GPS monitoring as a alternative to time in jail. But what if in a effort to reduce the overall jail population criminals convicted of non-violent crimes were given the choice between jail or GPS? This means those arrested for drug charges and things of that nature could opt to stay outside prison walls to serve their punishment via house arrest. It is probably a safe bet to say that the significant majority would opt for the GPS personal tracking system. So how would this process work and would it be effective ?

GPS bracelets have been employed for some time with success in monitoring criminals. Basically how the process works is that the person who was convicted of a crime wears a real-time GPS monitoring system. The tracking data is the monitored off-site where both the real-time and historical tracking information can be viewed 24/7. The real-time GPS monitoring systems are even designed to provide security alerts to notify authorities if a criminals under GPS monitoring leaves the home, city, state or country! In fact, the GPS monitoring system programs have already been found to be helpful in situations regarding domestic violence and sexual assault. This evidence can be found in the number of different independent research programs that have investigated the effectiveness of GPS as a deterrent.

“Often times jail doesn’t rehabilitate criminals and it can unfortunately pour gasoline on the fire in terms of making the situation worse“, explained a GPS vehicle management expert for Tracking System Direct. “Ideally, we want those convicted of crimes to be rehabilitated while also not spending enormous amounts of tax payer money in funding more jails. By utilizing GPS personal trackers, those paying their debt to society can do so in a setting less likely to aggravate criminal tendencies while also keeping our jails filled with only the most violent criminal offenders. Naturally, the convict would be responsible for costs associated with the tracking units and any missteps would result in automatic jail time. Not to mention, the money saved from the reduction in the overall prison population could be used for preventive, educational and  rehabilitation programs that could help those with checkered histories with police enforcement stay on the right path of success.”

Reader’s Take On GPS Tracking

Should states consider programs that emphasize use of tracking GPS systems to keep non-violent criminal offenders out of jail?

Is the current justice system in need of repair?

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