South Carolina rep amends bill to require GPS trackers for domestic violence defendants who make bail

The original version of the bill only mentioned "violent offenders."

February 1, 2020, 2:40 PM

A South Carolina state representative amended a bill that would require alleged domestic violence offenders to wear a GPS monitoring device if the defendant is allowed to be released on bail.

The original H. 3708 bill, which was introduced in January 2019, only mentioned that judges could consider "in lieu of setting bond or as an additional condition of release on bond" that alleged "violent offenders" should be "on surveillance via an active electronic monitoring device."

Rep. William Bailey sponsored the bill and amended it on Wednesday to included alleged domestic violence offenders.

PHOTO: A government ankle monitor.
A government ankle monitor.
File-Tribune News Service via Getty Images

The idea is to keep the victim of the alleged offender "notified at all times of the person's immediate location," the bill reads.

The bill also provides procedures for monitoring the device and includes penalties for tampering with it.

The cost for the tracking devices is expected to be paid for by "the appropriate law enforcement agency with jurisdiction over the offense."

Twenty three states have already passed GPS monitoring domestic violence/stalking laws, according to The Cynthia L. Bischof Foundation -- an organization dedicated to providing resources for victims of domestic violence and to advocate for these types of laws for states.

South Carolina joins 10 other states that are in primary stages of getting this bill passed into law.

The governor, Henry McMaster, has to approve the act.

Requests for comment from McMaster and Bailey were not immediately received.