FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 92 labor services
Pennsylvania Department of Corrections' Decision to Disband Philadelphia GPS Monitoring Unit Raises Concerns about Public Safety
Philadelphia, PA - 10/5/2023- The recent decision by the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections (PDOC) to disband its Philadelphia GPS monitoring unit has raised serious concerns about the potential impact on public safety. While the PDOC cites staffing issues as the primary reason for this decision, the consequences for community safety cannot be overlooked.
GPS monitoring has played a crucial role in supervising and tracking individuals on state parole, helping to prevent recidivism and ensuring the safety of our communities. The discontinuation of this unit threatens to create gaps in the oversight of individuals under community supervision.
Key concerns include:
1. Increased Risk to Public Safety: GPS monitoring has been an effective tool in preventing incidents involving parolees and probationers. Without this technology, there is a higher risk of individuals violating their terms of release and potentially engaging in criminal activities.
2. Reduced Accountability: The discontinuation of GPS monitoring could result in decreased accountability for individuals under supervision. The absence of real-time tracking may make it more challenging to respond swiftly to potential violations or risks.
3. Potential Overcrowding: If individuals violate their parole or probation terms due to decreased supervision, this may lead to an increased number of individuals returning to correctional facilities, potentially exacerbating issues related to overcrowding.
4. Negative Impact on Reentry Programs: Effective reentry programs often rely on GPS monitoring to provide support and structure to individuals reintegrating into society. The absence of this resource may hinder successful reentry efforts.
FOP Lodge 92 urges the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections to reconsider this decision and explore alternative staffing solutions to maintain GPS monitoring for those under community supervision. Public safety should remain a top priority, and discontinuing a program that has proven effective in achieving this goal could have far-reaching consequences in a city with an increasing number of violent crimes.
Our communities deserve a comprehensive and well-funded approach to correctional supervision that ensures both the successful reintegration of individuals into society and the protection of public safety. We call upon the PDOC to engage in a dialogue with stakeholders, including labor unions, community leaders, law enforcement, and advocacy groups, to find a solution that safeguards our communities while addressing staffing concerns.
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Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 92 is the labor union representing State Public Safety Employees. FOP 92 is committed to improving the working conditions of public safety officers and the safety of those who serve through education, legislation, information, community involvement, and employee representation. Please visit pafop92labor.org for more information.