The first use of GPS Tracking for inmates occurred in the 1980s. By 1990, all 50 states in the US had deployed the technology to monitor high-risk parolees, particularly sex offenders.
The technology proved cheap, reliable, and effective at reducing the number of fleeing subjects. Today, they are used in the bail system for a number of offenses, and that’s not likely to change. Here are 10 reasons why.
1. It Makes Bail Possible
When conducting a bail risk assessment, judges look at a few different factors. Chief among them is the severity of the crime committed and the perceived flight risk. GPS monitoring helps any of the surrounding fears.
Knowing where the subject is at all times provides peace of mind that the individual will not try to escape nor commit an additional crime. When the defense agrees to GPS monitoring, it increases the likelihood that a judge will say yes to any petition for bail.
2. It Lowers the Bail Amount
Bail amounts differ based on geographic location and a schedule of offenses. An individual who committed the crimes of rape or domestic violence is far less likely to receive affordable bail than one whose major offenses are misdemeanors or low-class felonies.
Bail tracking mechanisms help the court make this decision with a better degree of clarity. GPS, in particular, tells the court that the individual is far less of a flight risk, as they are willing to disclose their location at all times of their release.
3. It Counters the Flight Risk Argument
“Jump bail” is an old phrase in the world of law enforcement and bail bondsmen that means not showing up for a scheduled court appearance. The non-slang is “failure to appear,” and when a subject makes a habit of it, it implies to the court that they are a flight risk. Other factors that go into determining a potential flight risk include access to travel, a history of resisting arrest or failure to appear, and job situation.
4. It Allows the Subject to Keep Their Job
Another great advantage of GPS tracking is that it is mostly non-intrusive to the subject’s life. An individual who wears an ankle tether is able to conceal it enough that it does not affect their daily life and interactions.
This enables such individuals to hold onto their employment so they’re able to pay any fines or penalties. If the individual has a good history of showing up for work, that also will weigh into their favor as a judge makes her decision.
5. And Limits the Effects on Personal Errands and Responsibilities
Life is more than just where you work. Obviously, individuals find themselves in all manner of situations where they need to take care of business or fulfill responsibilities.
This can range from mailing packages to picking up the kids from school. It essentially allows the individual to continue aiding the family instead of being stuck in jail and placing that burden on their spouse. As a result, many families can find it easier to come through an arrest without any added stress.
6. It Helps Bail Bondsmen
Bail bondsmen benefit from the use of GPS monitoring as well. When an individual gets bail through a bail bond agency, the bondsman fronts the required payment in agreement to ensure the subject appears at their scheduled court date.
GPS allows the bondsman to know where the subject is at all times. If there are any concerns that might affect appearing in court, the bondsman can address them. This also allows the bondsman to manage a larger clientele than would otherwise be possible.
7. It Lowers the Risk of Future Crimes
Wearing a GPS tether reduces the likelihood of preventing future crimes, at least while the individual is between court appearances. That’s because the individual is not around criminal influences after their arrest. This change of location better facilitates re-entry into society.
If the subject can make it to their court date with no further discrepancies, they could receive a lighter sentence. Anything that reduces a person’s time behind bars will improve the odds they don’t end up there again.
8. It Saves Taxpayers Money
Taxpayers save money in a number of ways through the use of GPS technology. For starters, the tech is much more available and cheaper than it used to be. Secondly, anyone who wears the ankle monitor will not be in a tax-funded facility eating three tax-funded meals per day and using tax-funded utilities.
Lastly, there’s the matter of law enforcement resources. Individuals who are being tracked and monitored between court appearances aren’t creating additional issues for law enforcement personnel, whose salaries are paid for by, you guessed it, taxes.
9. It Is Efficient
Two things make GPS particularly efficient when it comes to implementing a program that reduces failures to appear. Firstly, they are close to impossible to remove, with the tools needed to do so not being readily available.
Additionally, the tethers have a battery charge that can last for days. This ensures that individuals are monitored appropriately in between appearances and check-in with their bail bondsman.
10. It Provides Useful Data
Yet another reason to incorporate GPS into bail programs is that it provides the bail bondsman and court personnel with the appropriate notifications to know if something is askew. Before ankle monitoring, bail bondsmen were specifically at-risk of financial harm because they would not have as much to go on should the subject decide to violate the terms of his bail.
Now, the bondsman can check-in at any time to see where the signal is. He can see how much time is left on the charge, as well as specific locations and activities the subject has engaged in.
GPS Tracking Is Here to Stay in the Bail Market
If you run a bail bonds agency and have yet to deploy GPS Tracking, you should right away. In the market for newer technology without breaking the bank?
Kapa Technologies can help. Visit our page to learn more about these state-of-the-art devices, what they can do for your practice, and how you can become a partner.