A couple of the local evening news programs have highlighted a service that will be available soon. Cat Trax is a company who will set up a gps enabled cell phone to track where your children are. The phone will alert the parents when the child gets close to a registered sex offenders residence. The service is to become available in Utah in June at a cost of about $20 per month.
One newscast showed a civil rights attorney who says it is legal (since they are using legal information), but is invasive. I can see where there could be some privacy issues.
A close neighbor to a registered sex offender or someone who has moved into a residence that an offender has moved out of could be ostracized or even victimized by vigilante types who are over protective.
Here are some counterpoints to the comments that have been posted so far:
Even though we all have heard stories of people who are on the registry that should not be, don’t you suppose that the vast majority of those on the registry belong there? They have committed serious crimes and statistically will become repeat offenders. Our society has dictated that part of their punishment is a loss of privacy. That is a harsh punishment, but those are harsh crimes. Is it in the best good of the most people – remember Utilitarianism?
As for the guy whose underage ex-girlfriend turned him in – remember, she was underage and isn’t it a crime to have sexual relations with an underage person? It’s still a crime even if they think they are consenting. And conviction of a crime must be met with justice and punishment.
Let’s carry things one step further. Rather than gps cell phones that tell you where your children are, maybe we should force the sex offenders to wear radio anklets (like prisoners). Since they don’t always stay in their homes (they have jobs, go shopping, etc). Punishment too harsh? Unnecessary? Do we not care that our kids could be in close contact with them?