GPS Bracelet Keeps Domestic Violence Offenders Away
There are similar, smaller-scale programs in other counties and states, including Vermont, Massachusetts, Illinois and Washington, D.C., but Connecticut's program is one of the most comprehensive in the country, Grant said.
The pilot program costs about $500,000 a year to run. Initially, the program was paid for with a federal grant and more recently, funded through the state Judicial Branch budget. If it is expanded statewide, it would be rolled out gradually, costing $928,000 the first year, and $1.9 million every year after that.
Originally, the plan called for the offenders themselves to pay for their own GPS devices. But the state quickly discovered that many of these offenders were indigent and only a few could afford the $22-a-day cost of the program.
Jarmoc, of the domestic violence coalition, said that while the program has proven effective, it is also quite expensive. She said it would be worth "having a conversation" to make sure the program is the best use of limited domestic violence dollars.
Steve Grant, director of juvenile and family services for the Judicial Branch, said the program has made a "huge difference" in protecting domestic violence victims. "We have not had any victims injured. That's a pretty telling statistic," he said.•
This story originally appeared at CTMirror.org, the website of The Connecticut Mirror, an independent, non-profit news organization covering government, politics and public policy in the state.