Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich (D) signed a measure into law that allows authorities to track convicted domestic violence offenders via satellite using GPS technology. The new law allows judges to order that offenders wear a GPS device or be subject to GPS monitoring. Authorities will be alerted when abusers enter survivor-designated safe zones, typically areas surrounding their home or workplace.
The family of Cindy Bischof fought for a law in her name that would allow authorities to track offenders who have previously violated orders of protection. Bischof, 43, was killed outside her office in March by her ex-boyfriend, Michael L. Giroux. He had been arrested and prosecuted for violating a restraining order twice before the fatal shooting. Bischof had requested that Giroux be monitored using GPS after his release from prison, but this type of surveillance was not a legal possibility at the time.
Diane Rosenfeld, a lawyer who worked to add GPS monitoring to Massachusetts state law, told Ms. Magazine that a key aspect of GPS legislation is that it places responsibility for following orders of protection on the offender rather than the victim. Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich stated that “with this legislation, we will further help victims of domestic violence by monitoring their abusers whereabouts and aiding law enforcement in tracking violations of a restraining order.”