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Wisconsin’s lifetime GPS monitoring challenged

NARSOL’s legal team . . . NARSOL is publicly releasing for the first time copies of two expert reports filed last week in Antrim v. Carr, 19-cv-396 (Eastern District of Wisconsin). The case challenges Wisconsin’s statutory scheme requiring that certain individuals convicted of sexual offenses be forced to wear a GPS monitoring device for life, even after they are off of any criminal supervision. The plaintiff’s attorneys are Mark Weinberg and Adele Nicholas. NARSOL is subsidizing the costs of the case by paying for Plaintiff’s two expert reports, as well as any supplemental reports in the case.

The plaintiff alleges the scheme violates the Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution. The case  has been certified as a class action, and the class currently consists of 514 persons subject to lifetime GPS monitoring because they have been convicted of a sexual offense on two or more separate occasions.

The two experts in the case are Kate Weisburd and Kelly Socia.

Ms. Weisburd is a law professor at George Washington University School of Law and one of the leading scholars concerning the impact that surveillance technology has on individuals in the criminal justice system. She is the author of a seminal law review article in the area, Punitive Surveillance, 108 Va. L. Rev. 148, (2022). Her report forcefully details the ways in which GPS technology negatively impacts the lives of individuals forced to wear the devices.

Dr. Socia is Professor in the School of Criminology and Justice Studies and a Fellow for the Center for Public Opinion at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. He is one of the leading experts on the impact of residency restrictions imposed on individuals who have been convicted of sexual offenses. Dr. Socia has approximately 50 peer-reviewed publications in journals such as Justice Quarterly; Criminology & Public Policy; Crime & Delinquency; Sex Abuse: A Journal of Research and Treatment; and Psychology, Public Policy, and Law.

Dr. Socia’s expert report makes three conclusions: (1) Wisconsin’s policy of automatically placing individuals on lifetime GPS monitoring based solely on whether they have been convicted of sexual offenses on more than one occasion is unreasonable, ineffective and wasteful; (2) There is little support for the use of post-incarceration GPS tracking as a means of reducing sexual recidivism; and (3) Mandating GPS tracking for 20 years or longer, especially when the policy is applied without incorporating any risk assessment–neither static nor dynamic–represents an immense waste of resources with no discernable public safety benefits.

NARSOL thanks both of these scholars for their expertise and their work in producing these reports. We are excited about this case and will provide updates as they occur.


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10 Thoughts to “Wisconsin’s lifetime GPS monitoring challenged”

  1. AvatarCherokeeJack

    If it looks, sounds, smells and appears to be like probation/punitive in nature, then it is probation, just with another name. It is punishment, with another name. If it walks like a duck…………………

    1. AvatarBrian

      Should be on Michigan for their similar law. Has to be more unconstitutional than the unconstitutionality of registries.

    2. AvatarShawn

      Agreed it is a formal of punishment. It limits your movement just like the “interstate commerce laws”. Which should make it unconstitutional. It’s takes way your Liberty. Not to mention the emotional toll it takes. It is a punishment without the right to trial.

  2. AvatarSue Decker

    Not only is lifetime GPS perpetual punishment, it is a handy source of revenue for the state. The $50 monthly fee comes to $600 annually. Multiply that by 30 years, that’s $18,000. And the amount could increase at any time. Almost all people who are forced to register are already financially strapped, since steady, good paying employment with the Scarlet Letter of shame hanging over them is difficult. But people are terrified of not paying that monthly fine, that is called a fee. How long before getting behind on payments becomes a crime in itself, like failing to keep the bracelet charged has become?

    1. AvatarTim in WI

      Bearing the device is a form of slavery. The device nevertheless reports electronically to a database, at which point it’s location is stored and time stamped. Not all that distinct from every other use of a database. Like facial recognition systems the schemes are Inoperable or useless without the database as the foundation. Unsurprisingly, those at the top lay false claims of constitutional “need” while those at the bottom lament the unconstitutional use.

  3. AvatarJoe eigenmann

    They can do what they want to one cares.I was sentenced to 28 months.Did my time,got off parole and 5 months later I got letter telling me to come to court.I went to jail for another 3 years 4 months.finally won double jeopardy in N.J. Supreme court but still did 2 jail terms.Dont tell me they can’t do that.They did..

  4. AvatarAj

    Been dealing with Wisconsin for 41 years. If this challenge is brought before the wisconsin state supreme court. I will bet money it fails.
    All responses i have ever gotten out of dealing with the wisconsin legal system, has been a flop. So i will wait n see, but if this is considered unconstitutional i will be surprised.
    Our constitution has been, twisted,warped and stomped on so much.

    1. AvatarTim in WI

      Been dealing with WIDOC since 1992. I’ve faced FTR 6 TIMES since 1998. That’s just part of intentionally refusing to register.
      This case is filed in Federal court in the WI Eastern district in the 7th circuit (Fed). This means the case is not before the Wisconsin Supreme Court. Because it is not before the State’s highest Court an issue arises based on whether the State has had an opportunity to “weigh in” on the ” constitutional issue ” first. ( City of Hartford v Constantineau 400US433).
      In the Constantineau case ” posting without process” was deemed unlawful, but the minority suggested the panel shouldn’t take( hear) the case based on the supremacy clause standards were not being met because the State’s court hadn’t weighed in first.

  5. AvatarJim

    You can stop them. Plan it right and you can stop anything.

  6. AvatarCHAD A SMITH

    We need to create a public awareness that the states are using a blanketing application on the types of terms and conditions of parole and not treating it case by case. For example, if a person does not have a past history of drugs and alcohol then they cannot be forced to have drugs and alcohol terms and conditions on their parole, I know this because that is how my terms are based for my parole.
    The same issue should be,
    1) An ankle monitor should only be an issue if there is a past history of abduction or kidnapping a minor that is a stranger.
    2) A person should only have terms of not going near parks, schools, churches, ThemeParks… if they have taken or assaulted, vexed or molested a minor in a park, school, church, ThemeParks…If there is no history, then there is not a path to believe that there is a future of criminality. Stranger Danger is less than 10% of victims. Taking a child and sexually assaulting and killing is less than 1% and they are psychopaths and not sex offenders.

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