Friday, October 17, 2008

Hi-Tech Tracks Sex Offenders

Program Gives Instant Location Info To Probation Officers

LABELLE, FL. -- Imagine you are a Department of Corrections probation officer with dozens of sex offenders on your caseload, each with huge files that contain information ranging from their criminal history and place of employment to whether you should beware of a dog when you visit their home.

Until recently, the probation officer had to condense all that information and much more into a �Field Sheet� that he took with him to contact offenders, because carting a carload of confidential files is prohibited and unrealistic. Once out in the field, the officer would be unaware of changes to the offender�s status unless he called into the office. The solution? The Mobile Data Access System, dubbed MDAS, provides real time updates on offenders to officers both in the office and out in the field via laptop.

The program, created by Department of Corrections staff, also gives probation officers instant access to law enforcement data and contacts, and GPS location data for sex offenders who are on active GPS monitoring. The GPS tracking ability is particularly significant because if sex offenders are not home but are on GPS, the officer can pull up their location on the laptop and track them from street to street, if necessary.

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