Florida Senate Approves Jessica Lunsford Act

Approval by the House is expected quickly, and then it's on to the governor's desk. The law will greatly expand electronic monitoring of sex offenders.

Just over 200 sex offenders are currently being tracked by the Department of Corrections using active GPS technology. The cost is just under $9 a day.

Police in Tallahassee have been part of a pilot for the last three years. Chief Walt McNeill says it has been a success.

"The more of the sexual offenders and the sexual predators that we can get on tracking systems, the better off we are going to be in the state of Florida," he says.

GPS tracking of criminals is about eight years old. Former Gov. Bob Martinez has been on the forefront and says the technology is advancing rapidly.

Bob Martinez says, "You’re able to program it so that you know exactly where they are, where they can’t be, where they should be, plus you can talk orally like any other phone can."

The legislation soon to be on the governor's desk is not retroactive. Once the governor agrees, bracelets will be required wearing apparel for anyone who commits a sex offense after July 1, or any sex offender who violates his probation.

Attorney Gen. Charlie Crist says monitoring is fine, but it will only prove someone was at a crime scene, not stop them from committing the crime in the first place.

Charlie Crist says, "If we are going to keep them off the street, we need to lock them up. The monitoring will help, but locking them up will stop it."

But advocates say the monitoring will serve as a deterrent if criminals know they will be caught quickly.


WCTV 1801 Halstead Blvd. Tallahassee, FL 32309
Copyright © 2002-2014 - Designed by Gray Digital Media - Powered by Clickability 1498257 - wctv.tv/a?a=1498257
Gray Television, Inc.