Ohio may join the states planning to monitor a small group of violent sexual offenders using satellite technology, the Associated Press reports. Under a provision in Ohio’s pending budget bill, sex offenders who are likely to commit crimes again must wear a sensor around their ankle for the rest of their lives. Prison officials believe that only one inmate would be eligible immediately if the provision is signed into law; as many as 10 prisoners who would have to wear the devices are up for parole over the next two years.
Monitoring can be effective if used for ex-convicts who are most likely to return to crime, said law Prof. John La Fond of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. “Most strategies enacted today assume all sex offenders are equally dangerous, and they use one-size-fits-all laws and I think that’s essentially incorrect,” he said. David Singleton of the Cincinnati-based Prison Reform Advocacy Center, said the plan will do little to reduce crime. “I think it’s a political gimmick,” he said. Officials estimate it would cost $2,920 to $5,475 a year to monitor each prisoner.