GPS Monitoring of Offenders


How the GPS offender track Works?


Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are increasingly being used to monitor an offender’s location and notify someone if the offender enters an exclusion zone.

Satellites track the location of the offender’s GPS device (often secured on an ankle, our device is were on an wrist ).  

There are two types of GPS tracking: active and passive.

Active tracking is most often used with violent offenders since it provides real‐time location of the offender 24 hours a day.

With passive tracking, an offender wears a device 24 hours a day but the monitoring official might only receive an offender’s location information once a day when the offender uploads it from home.

Passive monitoring is not recommended for use with stalkers and violent offenders.  


Active monitoring is only effective if an administrator continually monitors the location of offenders, 24/7.

In some places, monitoring is done by corrections or local police officers who know the offender and the victim while other communities outsource this function to a vendor that works elsewhere.


An electronic monitoring program can set up “exclusion zones” around the victim’s home, work, etc., and an enrolled offender may not enter those geographic areas.

If the offender enters those zones, an alert can be immediately sent to the monitor.  

Some systems notify the victim with a pager if the offender enters any exclusion zone.

Other systems track the victim’s real‐time location by using GPS on the victim’s pager device.

If the victim is not in the exclusion zone and the offender comes near the victim, the system will typically alert both the monitoring official and the victim.

The offender can also be contacted and police can be dispatched.