N.J. considers allowing victims of domestic violence to monitor offenders

A New Jersey Assembly committee has advanced legislation intended to help protect victims of domestic violence.

The bill would allow courts to order the electronic monitoring of offenders with a history of domestic violence who repeatedly violate restraining orders.

Assemblyman Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, says victims would be provided with a device that would give advance notice when an offender might be heading their way.

“They’ll be able to track those who’ve offended them by going against restraining orders, to be able to know their whereabouts and proximity to their own person, to give them, if nothing else, a head start if the situation turns deadly,” said Singleton, a co-sponsor of the bill.

Law enforcement officers would also be able to track those offenders.

Singleton said GPS monitoring in other states has helped prevent attacks.

“The information also simultaneously goes to law enforcement. So it gives law enforcement a head start also to be proactive in being able to address this,” he said. “We’ve seen this in other states when they looked at the recidivism rates of individuals on GPS monitoring were reduced far below the national average.”

The bill has been referred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee.

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