Report Questions GPS Effectiveness in Sex Offender Monitoring - NBC 7 San Diego

Report Questions GPS Effectiveness in Sex Offender Monitoring

Lakeside residents concerned about the placement of convicted child molester Lee Austin are more worried after a report questioning the effectiveness of GPS monitoring systems

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Report Questions GPS Monitoring of Sex Offenders

    NBC 7's Danya Bacchus looks at a new report that questions the effectiveness of GPS monitoring when it comes to tracking convicted sex offenders. (Published Thursday, Nov. 6, 2014)

    Residents of one San Diego County community concerned about a registered sex offender's placement near an elementary school are now even more worried after a report suggests GPS monitoring devices do not keep sex offenders from committing more crime.

    “It’s pretty shocking honestly. It’s very shocking,” said Lakeside resident Beth Marshall. Her sense of security was rocked when she found out registered sex offender, Lee Austin, would be living on her street.

    Austin, 33, was convicted in 2001 of lewd or lascivious acts with a child under 14 years of age. He was released last week to live with his family on Lakeview Road, just across the street from Lakeview Elementary.

    The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) requires that Austin keep at least 250 feet from any location where children usually congregate and requires that he wear a GPS unit at all times while on parole.

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    Marshall said she found some comfort when she was told Austin would be monitored by a GPS device. Now, that’s also changed.

    “Initially it kind of did make me feel a little safe but now, not at all. Now a little bit more wary,” she said.

    A new report from the Office of the Inspector General found the ankle bracelets do little to keep ex-felons from committing more crimes.

    The report also found one in five paroled sex offenders has no home. Those transients committed about 76 percent of all parole violations among sex offender parolees. Less than one percent of the violations were for sex-related crimes.

    The report was requested after two Orange County sex offenders, who were wearing GPS devices, were arrested last spring for raping and killing four women. Their whereabouts were constantly tracked.

    In light of the report, state legislators may consider making changes to Jessica’s Law.

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    Marshall says something else needs to be done to keep people safe.

    “What do you tell the victims after something’s happened? I’m sorry we didn’t have enough money to really watch that guy,” she said. 

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