GPS ankle bracelet company grows rapidly in Indianapolis

December 27, 2016

A GPS ankle bracelet company is likely to grow rapidly in Indiana as authorities increasingly use tracking devices to increase compliance with pretrial release, probation or parole conditions among accused and convicted offenders.

More than 3,200 central Indiana residents are outfitted with the tracking devices, the Indianapolis Star reported.

Brian Barton is a former community corrections director and current executive director of Track Group, Marion County's sole GPS tracking device provider. He said the number of people ordered to wear the technology has nearly doubled in the Indianapolis area in the past year.

"The fact that there is major jail overcrowding problem here and technology is cheaper than it used to be," Barton told the newspaper, "there is a lot of pressure to use monitors."

The Salt Lake City-based company is expected to grow in the future because of Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett's sweeping criminal justice reform proposal, which includes a variety of methods to reduce crime.

Track Group has 30 employees in the state and tracks about 5,000 in Indiana.

Company and Marion County officials are in agreement that the GPS devices are helpful in keeping people who would otherwise be incarcerated out of jail and out of the cycle of crime. They see GPS tracking as a more affordable and humane way of preventing crime.

Critics of the devices have said they do nothing to deter criminal activity or stigmatize offenders, and that they're often placed on people who would not otherwise be in jail and are expensive for taxpayers.

Bob Hill, the county's chief public defender, said the devices help alleviate costs, because it is less expensive to use GPS tracking than put people in jail.


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