Michigan has joined a growing number of states that have expanded electronic monitoring to include domestic abusers and stalkers, reports the Associated Press. Michigan’s new law allows judges to order domestic-violence suspects to wear GPS devices — even before they go to trial. The idea is to alert victims if alleged abusers are nearby. That measure joins another law signed this month by Gov. Jennifer Granholm that requires paroled prisoners who have been convicted of aggravated stalking to wear GPS tethers.
GPS devices have been used for years to monitor sex offenders. But technological advances have now made it possible for the systems to issue warnings by cell phone if the offender gets too close to a specific victim. Massachusetts adopted a law last year that lets judges require electronic monitoring of people who violate personal-protection orders. Michigan, Oklahoma and Hawaii followed suit this year with GPS laws, bringing to 11 the number of states with related measures, said Diane Rosenfeld, a lecturer at Harvard Law School who proposed the Massachusetts law.