Keeping tabs on offenders is about to get a little easier.
You may have heard it time and time again: a defendant on pre-trial release drops off law enforcement’s radar and sometimes it takes days and even months before authorities track down the absconder.
But that could change as the Judiciary of Guam has announced the awarding of the contract for electronic monitoring services.
Knowing where a pre-trial release defendant is at all times is not only important for authorities but also for the victims and the judicial process.
That’s where ankle bracelets come in and we are not talking about a fashion accessory.
According to a release from the Judiciary of Guam, the contract for electronic monitoring services has been awarded to Buddi US, LLC a Florida-based company that provides tracking and monitoring solutions for corrections and law enforcement around the world.
Supreme Court Chief Justice Katherine Maraman said: “We are ready to move forward with this important effort to monitor pre-trial defendants. I know that this important tool for our judicial officers will ensure that people on pre-trial release come back to court and meet the requirements set in preliminary hearings and contribute to adjudicating cases as quickly and smoothly as possible.”
The electronic monitoring provider will provide real-time information about the location of defendants 24 hours a day, seven days a week using both GPS and radio frequency technologies.
Chief Justice Maraman said: “We believe that electronic monitoring will have an impact on changing some behavior. Using EM technologies to track those releases while awaiting trial in our island courts respects the presumption of innocence which is the foundation of our criminal justice system.”
Changing behaviors is not the only impact this program will potentially have on the island.
With overcrowding facing the island’s correctional facility, Department of Corrections Director Samantha Brennan welcomes the news, saying: “The awarding of the EM contract is good news. Depending on how many units they have will definitely reduce our detainee population. We currently have 279 detainees under our custody.”
The electronic monitoring program is expected to be fully implemented by August 1.