Local News

GPS Program Tracks Convicted Sex Offenders

Posted January 30, 2008

Map Marker  Find News Near Me

— A Lee County man will be monitored by a Global Positioning System device for the rest of his life. Murnice Chandler was convicted on 21 counts of indecent liberties with a child and was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison.

A law passed last year created the GPS program to track sex offenders, like Chandler. With old house-arrest bracelets, officers could only tell if an offender left the home. With GPS, they know where the person is at all times.

Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour ordered Chandler to be tracked by GPS. The judge would not comment on the case, but said the law makes the punishment automatic for certain sex offenders.

"That person is determined to be a recidivist, a sexually violent predator or to have committed an aggravated offense. Those are the three main categories," Baddour said.

Hannah Rowland, an administrator for the GPS program at the North Carolina Department of Correction, said there are 124 offenders wearing GPS devices. Among those, 40 will be wearing them for life, she said.

The device "allows us to know their whereabouts if needed," Rowland said.

Equipment carried at the ankle and waist communicates with satellites to give an offender's position. Probation officers receive updates on computer through cell phone signals. They get alerts when an offender goes where he or she is not supposed to go.

The system costs about $8.30 a day for each offender. It takes only a couple of correctional officers to track the GPS wearers across the state.

The GPS system does have trouble updating when offenders live in bad cell phone signal areas. In those cases, the equipment sends a report once a day when it is plugged in to charge its batteries.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • UpwardlyMobile Jan 30, 2008

    I don't think that this will work! It can't stop them from being near kids. If they go near a school or a playground I guess it will alert the authorities but what if neighborhood kids are just walking by and one of these sex offenders lures them in... Am I being too suspicious?

  • Thinkaboutitfirst Jan 30, 2008

    If the accused is in prison and did not commit the crime, he/she is being watched anyway. It's when they are out after serving the time that needs to be clocked. If they aren't child molesters/rapists or grown up rapists, they will not have anything to worry about. It's the guilty that will be jumping and trying to find a way out of the thing. they'll take the chance, but the GPS is a start until a better solution (maybe exile) can be worked out. People have experienced this type of violation relive it over and over and they never really recover to be able to give the love they wish they could.

  • dukebbfan Jan 30, 2008

    I bet the government could buy a deserted island to put all the child molesters, rapist (sexual predators) on and leave them there cheaper than this gps system in the long run.

  • tlwfgw Jan 30, 2008

    Thank you Pattip574.... you took the words right out of my mouth. I know someone pull time, because of someone else. I know this person was not Guilty, so did his lawyer and the judge and so did the people in the prison.. But my mama always told me what goes around comes around. I do feel sorry for the children who really are harmed, however this day and time, when do you know who to believe and who not. And for the REAL SEX OFFENDER they may not get it here, but they have to face the man above one day.

  • haggis basher Jan 30, 2008

    "Since the children aren't GPS'ed, how does it tell the monitor that the offender is near a child. So while folks may feel more secure, there is no added security."
    It can't stop a crime but it makes it much easier to tell where all the "usual suspects" were at the time of crime. It could tell if they were hanging around schools etc, random checking on where they are would keep them always aware that if they do anything they are much more likely to get caught. The device should be kept for use on those who are likely to repeat an offence. be that child molesters, burglars, drug dealers etc

  • LoveOneAnotherAsChristTaught Jan 30, 2008

    Sounds like another criminal justice system experiment.

  • peakofgoodliving Jan 30, 2008

    If they need GPS for life they need to be in prison. Period.

  • pattip574 Jan 30, 2008

    Do any of you realize that NOT ALL "sex offenders" are child molesters? Do you realize there are hundreds or thousands of men and women who are imprisoned and labeled "violent sexual predators" just because their girlfriend was a few months too young? Did you know that there are also people imprisoned and labeled because of a girl or boy who falsely accused the person, perhaps she had a teen crush and he wouldn't bite, so she accused him successfully of a sexual act? The laws are not fair. They are designed to treat all "sex offenders" the same, but they're not! If we are going to track "sex offenders", when are we going to track drug dealers and killers? This is nothing more than the 21st century witch hunt!

  • yacs Jan 30, 2008

    A complete boondoggle. This won't stop them.

  • smegma Jan 30, 2008

    only 10 years??? what about the lifetime of grief the children will have?