GPS ankle bracelets transmit signals when an sex offender ventures into a place he or she is supposed to avoid, such as schools or parks where children congregate. The Seattle Times reports that the Washington State corrections department’s use of GPS monitoring has come under fire in recent months. In March, a level 3 sex offender (considered most likely to reoffend) cut off his GPS monitoring bracelet and left the state. In February, a 13-year-old girl was killed in a field. A level 3 offender who was wearing a GPS bracelet has been charged.
Critics point out that GPS monitoring does not alert corrections officers when an offender commits a violent act, but merely indicates their location. Officials concede GPS monitoring devices aren’t foolproof. There are currently 123 offenders on GPS monitoring in the state.