still go to their normal school," said Subealdea. "The GPS has allowed us to keep them at home and keep them in their school districts." He said that spending as much as $10 per day on the tracking devices is still a savings compared with the $84-$112.50 they would otherwise be spending to keep the juveniles in a detention center.

Subealdea said most defendants' lawyers now request an offender monitoring system as the preferred alternative to sending children to detention. Because the technology is so accurate, it's already helping some delinquents with their cases. "We usually order kids on the GPS units for six months," said Subealdea. "If they comply with all of their conditions of probation during that time, we let them off." He said juveniles don't want to wear the devices and they wind up in detention facilities. "They think that's too juristic and then we have to take other measures."

As for the children who must learn the hard way and go to detention, Subealdea said once they are out, they do the right thing. "Some of those kids, they get on it and if they spend one or two days in detention, that's enough to get their attention," said Subealdea. "They come out, and they do what they have to with the monitor.

Karen Stewartson, Managing Editor Karen Stewartson  | 

Karen Stewartson served as the managing editor of Government Technology for many years. She also contributed to Public CIO and Emergency Management magazines.