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Stimulus to Fund GPS Monitors for Domestic Violence Offenders
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The state will use $140,000 of federal stimulus money to track domestic violence offenders. WNPR's Lucy Nalpathanchil has more.

The money will be used to purchase GPS monitors for high-risk offenders who are charged with violating a restraining or protective order. At least 21 offenders will have to wear the ankle bracelets which will alert victims and police when offenders are too close to the victim.  Executive Director of the Connecticut Coalition Against Domestic Violence, Erika Tindill, says other states like Massachusetts and Illinois have implemented similar pilots. She says Connecticut's program will operate in the judicial districts of Bridgeport, Hartford and Danielson.

"I believe they were based on information that court support services division has on where we might get the best result and outfitting certain high risk D.V. offenders. So, it's a nice mix of the different types of cases that we'll be looking at."

Last year, Governor Rell allocated $1 million of federal stimulus money to staff Connecticut's domestic violence shelters 24 hours a day/7 days a week. Tindill says those funds helped five more of the state's shelters open around the clock. But Tindill says the money won't last forever.

"With the stimulus dollars, it all goes away in 2011. So we will be working really hard to show this is what the stimulus money can do, here are the services that we provided, you know the state needs to continue to support this."

The GPS monitoring program was one of several initiatives approved recently by the legislature's judiciary committee after a string of high profile domestic violence cases in the state last year.

For WNPR, I'm Lucy Nalpathanchil.