Okla. Bill to Implant Microchips in Inmates Sent Back to Committee

The season finale of "24" included the implanting of a microchip in a teenager to track his whereabouts. I remember one other episode where the same thing was done.

Looks like some legislators in Oklahoma had the same idea:

Legislation that would authorize microchip implants in people convicted of violent crimes was sent back to a committee yesterday. This after state House members questioned whether the proposal would violate constitutional civil liberties.

The measure, approved by the Senate, authorizes microchip implants for persons convicted of one or more of 19 violent offenses who have to serve at least 85 percent of their sentence. (my emphasis)

The tiny electronic implants are commonly used to keep track of pets and livestock, but several House members questioned whether their forced use in people would be unconstitutionally invasive.

The measure passed the Senate? Is this an aberration? Sentencing Law and Policy thinks it may be the trend of the future.

I've been appalled at GPS monitoring of my clients. I've fought it unsuccessfully when it was imposed as a bond condition in a stalking case. But a microchip? I'd take it to the Supreme Court. And little good that will do if we get more Bush-nominated right wing judges on the Court.

< Rudy Splits Early From Daughter's Graduation, Bad Vibes | Cheney's Commencement Address at West Point >
  • The Online Magazine with Liberal coverage of crime-related political and injustice news

  • Contribute To TalkLeft

  • Display: Sort:
    We gotta draw the line somewhere.... (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by kdog on Sun May 27, 2007 at 08:10:59 AM EST
    for state intrusion, even on prisoners.  

    Our protective shell called skin seems like a good spot to draw the line.

    are pre-cogs just. . . (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by the rainnn on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:39:40 AM EST
    around the corner -- with pre-
    crime-arrests, and convictions?
    [a la "minority report"?]

    wait -- don't answer that.

    it would be a thought-crime.

    s h e e s h. . .

    Ever heard of EMP? (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by SeeEmDee on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:03:35 PM EST
    As in "ElectroMagnetic Pulse"? One good zap with a high Gauss field from a Tesla coil could turn said chip into junk. And Tesla coils are very easy to make.  As a favorite fictional engineer of mine once said, "The more they overtake the plumbing, the easier it is to stop up the drain."

    I seriously doubt (none / 0) (#6)
    by Jen M on Sun May 27, 2007 at 03:13:39 PM EST
    they have.

    Or if they have heard of EMP they have no clue what it means.


    How does a microchip implant (none / 0) (#2)
    by JSN on Sun May 27, 2007 at 10:17:35 AM EST
    protect public safety? They are passive devices with no power source and they are detected with a short range scanner so it appears the only practical use is for identification of pets and livestock.

    We have other methods of identification of people that do not involve an implant. Why introduce another constitutional issue for such a minimal improvement in identification technology? Also if they are easy to implant it may also be just as easy for the implant to be removed. A human is much more likely to want an implant removed than a dog.

    New Tech (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by squeaky on Sun May 27, 2007 at 01:19:21 PM EST
    that has GPS built in and works off the electric system of the body.
    They are working round the clock as this is where the big gov conrtracts are.

    The budget is 100s of times larger than all the ones together that develop technology for pets and livestock.

    You can bet that these new little trackers will be very, very expensive.


    Squeaky. GPS takes a lot of power (none / 0) (#7)
    by JSN on Sun May 27, 2007 at 06:38:32 PM EST
    the battery pack for a GPS monitor is about the size and weight of a bible. I think you have been fed a load of BS.

    I think we are confusing two technologies. (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 27, 2007 at 07:34:10 PM EST
    I think we are confusing two technologies.

    The first is GPS which is a receiver that picks up satellite broadcast signals and can tell where you are with great accuracy. If you couple that to a transmitter, then you can know where someone/thing is from a great distance.

    Current versions are fairly bulky and power hungry. Part of the bulk is extra protection for the unit.

    Straight commercial versions are very small, inexpensive and useful. i.e. If someone steals my new car it tells where it is. Once a month it runs diagnostics and send me  a report.

    Could the government use the location part of it as a means to observe me? Yes. Does that bother me? No. Should it?? I don't think so. But I do recognize the possibility of harm.

    The second is RFI. This is a true very small chip that has a limited range and could be inserted under the skin of a person...

    My guess is that this is what OK is talking about.

    It occurs to me that this would be a low cost way to improve security while giving the prisoner the ability to be in less constrictive surroundings. That has to be better than some of the things that happen now.

    In order to report your location it (none / 0) (#9)
    by JSN on Sun May 27, 2007 at 09:21:24 PM EST
    has to have a transmitter. If you don't mind having a RF transmitter
    implanted in you body it is safe to say that others will.

    JSN (none / 0) (#10)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 27, 2007 at 09:28:17 PM EST
    I guess you don't use cell phones.

    Are violent criminals always within (none / 0) (#11)
    by JSN on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:11:20 PM EST
    range of a cell phone tower? Probably not.

    JSN (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:27:09 PM EST
    Actually the GPS bracelets are just that. Bracelets. They aren't implanted, but worn.

    The trigger is when they go out of range...

    But I think... or at least hope... you know that.

    Good night. Tired of arguing over a non-issue in which I was just trying to explain something.. go argue with your spouse..


    GPS is not bracelets (none / 0) (#13)
    by Jeralyn on Sun May 27, 2007 at 11:45:32 PM EST
    It's a box you have to carry around.  At least in Denver it is.  It's not the same thing as electronic monitoring where you need to wear an ankle bracelet and be by a phone.

    Monitors are tattletales. (none / 0) (#14)
    by JSN on Mon May 28, 2007 at 07:54:35 AM EST
    An electronic monitor tells the supervisor that their client is not where they are supposed to be. This can be done in near real time (about every 5 minutes) or once a day.

    A fixed station monitor reports by telephone and there can be either real time or a once a day report depending on how much the monitoring agency is willing to pay.

    Lower cost voice recognition monitors don't require anything but a telephone and the client is called at random times during the day to see if they answer the phone (call forwarding is turned off). Their supervisor is notified if they don't answer.

    GPS monitors means the GPS coordinates of the client are frequently updated and either reported by radio or recorded in a portable recording device which is then connected to a telephone and downloaded once a day.  

    Tattletale monitors are an appropriate jail alternative for some nonviolent offenders on pretrial release or serving an alternate sentence. They are not appropriate for violent offenders or  repeat offenders.

    Our jail uses GPS monitors so that persons who work outside the county can be placed on work release. This provides a way to check that they don't make side trips in going to and from work and that they stay at work all day. Community based correction also uses monitors for supervision of probationers, parolees and sometimes for persons on supervised pretrial release. They have had GPS monitors for a number of years but they seldom used them because they are very expensive and clients have been known to cut them off and throw them away. In my opinion the GPS monitor salespersons are much better than their immature product.

    The Iowa legislature mandated the use of GPS monitors for sex offenders over the objections of community based correction. At the present time we are getting proof by demonstration that this was a dumb idea. There are too many sex offenders and not enough parole/probation officers.


    GOS (none / 0) (#15)
    by jimakaPPJ on Mon May 28, 2007 at 10:01:10 AM EST
    My bad...

    I was thinking that (some) are bracelets (anklets) that send a signal to a transmitter.. The technology exists.