ERIN CUNNINGHAM
The Herald-Mail
February 20, 2009

ANNAPOLIS — Del. Christopher B. Shank wants to outfit some domestic abusers with the same technology used to track sex offenders.

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Shank, R-Washington, has proposed a bill, which was heard Thursday by a House of Delegates committee, that would allow judges to issue a global positioning satellite (GPS) tracking device to some domestic abusers.

Shank offered a similar bill last year. No action was taken Thursday.

Under Shank’s bill, local officials could opt to outfit those who violate protective orders with GPS tracking devices. The GPS ankle bracelets also could be issued during bail review hearings for domestic abusers.

The bill would require judges to consider a behavioral assessment – known as the “lethality” assessment – to determine whether those who have violated protective orders or domestic abusers who are released on bail should be required to wear the tracking device.

“The GPS technology is an opportunity to give law enforcement officers the tools to better protect the victims by knowing the exact location of the offender 24/7,” Shank said.

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