Frequently Asked Questions
Domestic Violence GPS Monitoring Program
What is a domestic violence GPS monitoring program?
A domestic violence GPS monitoring program aims to reduce the interaction between domestic violence victims and the accused. This program utilizes GPS technology to ensure that potentially harmful or deadly interactions do not occur.
Why is this program necessary?
North Carolina ranks 4th in the United States for domestic violence crisis calls. Those calls have increased with the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. One of the most vulnerable times for domestic violence victims is the pretrial period after the accused has been released from jail and is awaiting trial. GPS tracking is a proven technology that increases the effectiveness of restraining orders and is allowed by more than 40 states, including North Carolina, to protect victims of domestic violence.
How does it work?
The accused wears an inconspicuous tracking device that alerts the victim’s phone via a mobile app when the two are within a set radius of one another. The program alerts both parties when they are in close proximity, either by mistake or intentionally. A third-party 24-hour monitoring entity is also alerted and can intervene if necessary.
What does House Bill 1023 do?
This legislation, passed by the North Carolina Legislature on June 25th, 2020, earmarks $3.5 million in federal COVID-19 stimulus funds toward the development and implementation of this GPS monitoring program across North Carolina.
How is this project eligible for federal COVID-19 Stimulus Funds?
The on-going COVID-19 pandemic, and subsequent stay-at-home orders, have in a spike in domestic violence cases. As an example, Wilmington reported a 116% jump over the same time period last year. This increase, and the potential impact a GPS tracking program would have on reducing cases, makes the program eligible.
Who covers the cost?
Initially the costs of the program will be covered by the Federal COVID-19 Stimulus Funds and allocated to the Department of Public Safety, Division of Administration.
What is Caitlyn’s Courage’s role?
Caitlyn’s Courage will oversee the development and implementation of the program. The organization will report on the effectiveness of the pilot programs to the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Justice and Public Safety, the Joint Legislative Oversight Committee on Health and Human Services, and the Fiscal Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Where will the pilot program of this initiative take place?
The legislation outlines nine judicial districts to be included in the pilot program, three of which shall have small district court caseloads, three of which shall have medium district court caseloads, and three of which shall have large district court caseloads. Local implementation task forces will be established in each district.
What will these funds go towards?
The legislation explicitly outlines that all funds will solely be used for project expenses directly related to development and distribution. Absolutely none of these funds will be used for lobbying, salaries, travel, or other administrative costs.
What were the voting results of House Bill 1023 in the NC State House and State Senate?
House Bill 1023 was passed unanimously in the NC State Senate 47-0 and 114-0 in the NC State House.