Tennessee to Monitor Sex Offenders With GPS System


A Tennessee $2.5 million pilot program that would use a global positioning system (GPS) to track paroled violent sex offenders has piqued the interest of seven electronic security contractors, the Associated Press reports. The contract is expected to be awarded by the end of this year.

The program, to be focused in Memphis, Nashville and three other parts of the state’s three grand divisions, will begin in early 2005, but won’t extend statewide until at least 2006.

The system would initially monitor half of Tennessee’s 1,200 sex offenders, and would allow law enforcement to create maps of “zones of exclusion” for the parolees, which would include homes of victims, playgrounds, day-care centers and schools.

Parole officers would also be able to track felons and determine if they are going to work during the day, home at night, and avoiding the restricted areas.

A similar program was launched in Florida in the late 1990s, and other cities use GPS for similar reasons.

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