Sweeney/Madden Bill To Make Gps Tracking Of Sex Offenders Permanent Clears Senate Budget And Appropriations Committee

TRENTON – A measure sponsored by Senators Steve Sweeney and Fred H. Madden which would make permanent the provisions of the “Sex Offender Monitoring Act,” was unanimously approved today by the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee.

“Enacting this bill would put a permanent stamp of approval on a program that has already proven to be both necessary and successful,” said Senator Sweeney, D-Gloucester, Cumberland and Salem. “This bill would continue the work the pilot program started to help keep our children safe as they travel to and from school and as they play at parks and around their neighborhoods.”

“As parents, grandparents and legal guardians the safety of our families means the world to us. By continuing the GPS tracking program, this bill would allow New Jersey’s families to breathe easier knowing that the police are keeping a close eye on dangerous sexual predators,” said Senator Madden, D-Camden and Gloucester.

The Senators’ bill, S-484, would make permanent the provisions of the 2005 pilot program which authorized the use of GPS technology to track the locations of high-risk sex offenders. The program uses the GPS tracking to provide continuous, time-correlated tracking, and allows law enforcement to compare subjects’ locations with reported incidents of crime.

In New Jersey, sex offenders are classified as “high risk” if their likelihood of re-offense has been determined to be high by a number of factors including insanity, history of violent assault and assault against children, Senators Sweeney and Madden said.

Any offender who fails to comply with the GPS program would be guilty of a third degree crime, which carries a sentence of 3-5 years in prison and fines of up to $15,000.

The bill would take effect immediately after becoming law.

The measure now heads to the full Senate for approval.

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