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Oakland adopts tracking of bailed suspects

Omnilink Systems : 22 July, 2008  (Application Story)
Bail conditions monitored on low risk and pre-trial suspects in Oakland county using Omnilink Offender monitoring system
The Oakland County, Michigan judicial system has implemented the use of Omnilink Systems' electronic offender monitoring technology and is seeing positive results throughout the community by tracking the movement of those awaiting pre-trial and low risk offenders. With this information being sent real-time, pre-trial officers and law enforcement can more easily monitor these offenders and ensure they are abiding by their established curfews and geographical boundaries.

Recently, a pre-trial offender monitored by the electronic device was tracked making unauthorised stops at numerous stops, including a barber shop and petrol station. Omnilink was sent this information from the wireless device, and local Oakland officials quickly scheduled a hearing for the offender after it was documented that the participant had not followed the terms of release from jail. These rules were enforced by an Oakland judge, sending a clear message that Oakland County will not tolerate any exemptions.

"We are thrilled to see that Oakland County is using the most technologically advanced monitoring device available to quickly identify non-compliant offenders. This device provides both the Sheriff's Department and the Community Corrections Pre-trial Office with a tool to help assure offender compliance," said Jeff Kirkpatrick, of the Judicial Services Group. "By teaming with Omnilink, local counties can now monitor those released from jail or awaiting pre-trial with special monitoring devices that can track where others devices can't."

"Every day we are seeing more counties realise the usefulness of Omnilink's monitoring devices," said Daniel Graff-Radford, vice president of judicial sales at Omnilink. "Oakland County is an excellent example of a county that took a risk in implementing an innovative program and has integrated offender monitoring as an alternative for crowded jails while ensuring the community remains safe."

The Sheriff's offender monitoring program is also designed as an alternative to incarceration and used primarily for low risk offenders. Omnilink incorporates cutting-edge GPS and cellular technology to units that track offenders all day, every day, regardless of whether they are outdoors or indoors. Authorised locations for the offender to travel to are customized and if the offender steps into a restricted area, a signal is sent directly to the local county Sheriff's office to handle.

"This is an innovative program for Oakland County that has proven to be a successful deviation from the typical monitoring and tracking of low risk offenders," said Bill Bullard, Chairman of the Oakland County Board of Commissioners. "We are pleased with the ease of use and the accuracy and reliability of the monitoring devices and hope to expand the program by October 1st of next year."
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