Illinois judges now may require satellite tracking of stalkers who repeatedly violate orders of protection, but most jurisdictions have not yet bought the equipment needed to carry out the new state law, reports the Chicago Tribune. Hailed as a safety breakthrough, the Cindy Bischof law is named for a woman who was gunned down in March by a former boyfriend even though he was under an order of protection. Global positioning systems now can be made a condition of bail for people charged with violating protection orders.
Budget constraints and questions about the best technology available for GPS tracking have bogged down county probation offices as they prepare to implement the law. The devices cost $8 to $12 a day. “The financial impact is quite large–larger than the $200 fine that will be coming from those convicted of the crime,” said Dawn Dalton of the Chicago Metropolitan Battered Women’s Network. A willingness by someone to violate an order can be a sign they might be inclined toward greater violence. “It’s not at all about slapping GPS on everybody,” said Diane Rosenfeld, a lecturer at Harvard Law School who helped write the Illinois law and a similar statute in Massachusetts. “It’s about using our state intervention at the most critical time.”