A place for everything...and the ability to track it.
February 16, 2005 12:55 PM   Subscribe

GPS to the rescue! With all the hoopla over California's proposal to tax consumers by adding GPS trackers to cars, has anyone thought about more useful things like tracking criminals on probation?
What do you think? Is this useful, or just a slippery-slope? (via /.)
posted by mystyk (6 comments total)
Geocaching would get a helluva lot more exciting.
posted by Cyrano at 1:01 PM on February 16, 2005

It's better then putting them in jail
posted by delmoi at 1:06 PM on February 16, 2005

GPS cant be used track criminals.

The devices require a clear signal on four satellites and do not work indoors or between tall buildings. Would criminals being tracked have any compunctions about taking advantage of this fact? All they need to do is block the signal and claim they were indoors!

Another issue includes the glaring fact that GPS devices are passive so a separate radio device would be required so the authorities could track the GPS itself. Radio devices also signal limitations and issues with battery life. Not to mention range, only cellular type technologies would allow the person to actually roam; even the best cell coverage is spotty.

In any event, this sort of technology is expensive and would break the budget of any municipal that tries to implement it to scale.
posted by Osmanthus at 2:12 PM on February 16, 2005

more useful things like tracking criminals on probation?

Sure, let's open that can of worms... assuming everyone who is on probation actually belongs there and wasn't railroaded by a corrupted or faulty system of justice.

I can't believe you said that out loud. sigh.
posted by LouReedsSon at 2:33 PM on February 16, 2005

I like the idea of using it to track criminals. Then when they try to do it to me, I can bitch about "being treated like a criminal."
posted by kindall at 2:47 PM on February 16, 2005

A proposal by Vermont Gov. Jim Douglas would apply GPS technology to the corrections system. For approximately $3,000 a year, nonviolent inmates could be outfitted with special ankle bracelets that track their movements. The plan would be to transfer 400 inmates who are currently in prison to this community-based system. This move would create enough space to allow the state to bring back the 400 inmates who are being held out of state. See Douglas administration prepares prison overcrowding proposal - December 20, 2004

posted by footsoar at 9:43 AM on February 17, 2005

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