This article describes how sex offenders are managed in the community under Florida's laws, and a case study is presented to show how this management system can work for the benefit of sex offenders in the community who may be suspected of reoffending, but are innocent.
Florida sex offenders must obey three main residence restriction laws; two of the laws restrict certain offenders from living within 1,000 feet of a day care center, school, park, playground, or other location where children congregate. The third law prohibits sex offenders from living near school bus stops. Sex offenders in Florida are considered high risk, so they are monitored under a global positioning system (GPS). The offender wears a radio transmitter on his/her ankle. Information from the transmitter goes to a GPS tracking device that logs the offender's spatial position based on information from satellites. The device sends information to a server that analyzes it to determine whether the offender is in a restricted area. Information about the offender's spatial location and any violations are sent to a monitoring company and to the probation officer. This article reports on a case study in Pinellas County in which a sex offender whose residence location made him a suspect in a case of possible contact with an 11-year-old boy was proven by his GPS monitoring logs to have been in another area at the time of the alleged contact. 3 figures and 4 references