This bulletin describes the Post-Incarceration Active Remote Offender Location Evaluation (PAROLE) project, which involves the technical assistance of the National Institute of Justice's Rural Law Enforcement Technology Center (RULETC) in helping the New Mexico Corrections Department (NMCD) test and select a tracking system for use in monitoring probationers and parolees.
The NMCD sought the assistance of the RULETC because it did not have the time or the facilities to test the available tracking technologies. The NMCD identified four active tracking systems for evaluation and defined the conditions for testing and performance. The tests were to be conducted in New Mexico and under the conditions of large urban areas as well as remote areas. Each of the four systems underwent the same 2-day testing protocol. Although the systems differed from one another in a number of specifications, they all depended on a cellular infrastructure to report data. This involved GPS (Global Positioning System) technology, which constantly tracks an offender's location and uses cellular technology to provide near real-time reporting on the offender's location. The cellular system can locate an offender any time and also allows the drawing of boundaries for an exclusion zone. If the offender ventures inside the forbidden area, his/her bracelet sends an automatic alarm to both the offender and to the supervising officer. All four tested systems performed with some success in the urban area, but none of the four could locate a cellular signal in the remote area. The PAROLE project team has issued a preliminary evaluation report to the NMCD. The final report, which is currently being reviewed by the National Institute of Justice, will be available to the public later in 2005.
Date Published: January 1, 2005