Report: Limited Evidence To Support Effectiveness Of Widespread GPS Monitoring

Jan 7, 2020

A state panel is reviewing a report that takes a deep dive into GPS monitoring of convicted criminals recently released from prison. They're studying whether Ohio should expand the use of electric monitoring through probation.

Gov. Mike DeWine's Working Group on Post-Release Control has been tasked with creating recommendations for GPS monitoring that could reduce recidivism and improve public safety.

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati say the results are mixed. Their report concludes there is limited evidence to suggest that the widespread use of GPS will accomplish those goals.

The report listed several advantages to electronic monitoring, saying it can hold offenders accountable and promote public safety. However, it also named concerns such as potential for technical difficulties and keeping low-risk offenders in the criminal justice system.

DeWine called for the creation of the working group following an investigation into the parole supervision of Raymond Walters. Walters is accused of stabbing his father then stealing a police cruiser, eventually causing a crash that killed two children.

Walters was on post-release control at the time of the incident, and an internal investigation found that the supervision of Walters was “appropriate and in accordance with pertinent supervision policies and administrative rules.”

DeWine released a statement after creating the working group, saying “Although the internal review found that the (Ohio Adult Parole Authority) officer followed policy in the supervision of Raymond Walters, I have the responsibility to question whether or not the current policies are the right policies, and I’m confident that members of my new working group will make actionable recommendations to improve the post-release control process.”

The working group is expected to have its recommendations for DeWine by the end of the month.