Washington State Considers Law to Require Violators of Restraining Orders to Wear a GPS Tracking Device
KLEWTV.com reports that a bill that is pending in the Washington State Legislature seeks to expand the protection offered to victims of harassment and stalking in orders of protection.
The bill, HB 1180, is supported by the family of a woman who was killed by a man who stalked her outside of the school where she taught. According to the article, the woman had an order of protection against the man, but he had violated it at least once. If the bill passes, a person who violates an order of protection would be required to wear a Global Positioning System (GPS) monitor, which would warn law enforcement officials, as well as the victim, that the offender is violating the order.
According to The New York Times, at least twelve other states in the U.S. have passed similar legislation and approximately 5,000 domestic abusers are being tracked across the nation.
In August, 2008, Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich signed legislation that allows the courts to order a domestic violence abuser to wear a GPS tracking device as a condition of bail when he or she has violated a restraining order that is in place against them. Under the law, called the Cindy Bischof Law, after a woman who was killed by a former boyfriend who violated her restraining order against him at least twice, an abuser must also go through a risk assessment evaluation. Additionally, the court is required to order the abuser to be evaluated by a partner abuse intervention program and to follow all resulting recommendations. If an abuser fails to attend and complete the program, it is considered a new offense if the restraining order is violated. The law also added a minimum fine of $200 to every penalty on a violation of an Illinois restraining order conviction. The funds are given to the State’s Domestic Violence Surveillance Fund. The Cindy Bischof Law went into effect in Illinois on January 1, 2009.
If you or your children are being threatened and you believe you may be harmed by your spouse, ex-spouse, or another person, consult with the Illinois family law attorneys at Nottage and Ward. We can help defend your rights and guide you through the order of protection process in Illinois. Call 312-332-2915 to learn more today.
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