Are there any risks to having an offender’s location tracked?
Tracking abusers with GPS technology can have risks if the victim relies solely upon the GPS tracking to stay safe. For example, passive GPS monitoring in domestic violence or stalking cases cannot be relied upon as a way to protect or warn you (or law enforcement) of the abuser’s location to prevent possible further abuse. Additionally, with active GPS monitoring, if there are not enough well-trained law enforcement officers to quickly respond when an abuser enters a prohibited location near you or if the court does not have proper procedures in place to hold offenders accountable for violating court orders, GPS monitoring is not as effective. Also, if you do not have access to the technology required to alert you if the offender comes near you or if the technology fails, active GPS monitoring may not provide you with enough warning for you to protect yourself. You may want to discuss your situation with a domestic violence advocate to decide whether GPS monitoring would be helpful in your situation and to safety plan. You can also read more about the risks and benefits of GPS monitoring from Safety Net’s GPS Monitoring of Offenders handout.