It creates a tightly monitored "no fly zone" of sorts for offenders, released from prison, but still on probation or parole. Corrections and probation officials say current tests using global position satellite technology keeps law enforcement on high alert for offenders who try to loiter in restricted areas. Brian George with the state’s Probation and Parole Board says GPS technology gives law enforcement round-the-clock surveillance on offenders, which in turn gives offenders a particularly compelling reason to stay out of trouble. George says law enforcement will even show parolees or those on probation just how exact a small transmitter worn around the ankle and a miniature tracking device can be for tracking purposes.  He says if an offender enters a defined "exclusion zone," officials at a 24-hour monitoring center recieve an alert email. He says those officials can then contact local law enforcement to investigate if they determine the violation poses a threat.

Larry Crawford with the state Corrections Department adds that GPS technology doesn’t just offer real time information on offenders’ whereabouts, but also a substantial passive value too.  He says officials can determine trends in an offender’s behavior such as if an offender regularly fails to go to work, go to required treatment programs or go home by a certain hour.

Governor Blunt says the system could be used for any offender that’s considered a certain level of threat to residents, particularly sex offenders. He suggests it could also be a term of a probation or parole. The state is currently testing a pilot program on about 30 offenders in 23 different countries. Blunt encourages state lawmakers to approve $500,000 dollars in funding for the continued development of GPS tracking.



AUDIO: Laura McNamara (:60MP3)