Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley is starting a high-tech monitoring system for juvenile offenders based on Global Positioning System technology, which would enable police officers to track the exact movements of 200 of Baltimore’s most troubled youth, the Baltimore Sun reports. The governor plans to allocate $1 million in his budget proposal for the program, which would be put into place by July, after a bidding process for companies to supply the technology.
O’Malley has made public safety initiatives a pillar of his administration’s agenda this year. He announced last week that he would seek legislation to expand DNA sampling to people arrested for violent crimes and burglaries to help police solve old cases and clear people who might have been wrongly convicted. The monitoring program would be used to track offenders, who are mostly 13- to 17-years-old and who are on probation or enrolled in aftercare services or the Operation Safe Kids program. It is limited to those offenders who are identified as most at risk of committing violent crimes.Unlike previous electronic monitoring, when staff and police officers are deployed, officials will be able to find the offender through the GPS ankle devices.