Lisa’s Law Would Require Repeat Domestic Violence Offenders to Wear Electronic Monitoring Devices – Do You Support It? [POLL]
Anytime I hear of a law that bears someone’s name, I usually think the “law” was drafted at a kneejerk reaction to some tragic event.
More than likely to make a name for the legislator drafting it.
And in many cases the unintended consequences of the bill haven’t been fully hashed out.
But I set aside all my skepticism for a bill that had been drafted by Ocean County Republican Ronald Dancer which would require certain individuals convicted of domestic abuse to wear electronic monitoring devices.
The bill, being called “Lisa’s Law”, is in response to the killing of Letizia “Lisa” Zindel of Toms River back in 2009 by her fiancée one day after he was let out of jail for violating a restraining order.
Lisa’s Law, sponsored by Assemblyman Ronald Dancer, an Ocean County Republican, received full legislative approval. Once signed by the governor, the law will protect victims of domestic violence by allowing courts to order electronic monitoring of violent offenders who have restraining orders, supporters say. The law would be implemented as a four-year pilot program in Ocean County. The monitoring system also has a component that alerts victims who have active restraining orders when an offender is near.
As part of the bill, the state Attorney General would be required to submit a report to the governor and the Legislature at the end of each year of the pilot program, evaluating the program and recommending whether it should be continued statewide.
Tara DeLorme, 34, of Seaside Park, a friend of Zindel’s and also a social worker, has been busy since the death of her friend creating an organization (called Lisa’s Light) to prevent similar tragedies. Lisa’s Light started with spaghetti dinners to raise scholarship money for people going into social work and grew to an effort spearheading effective legislation aimed at preventing domestic violence deaths.
Today DeLorme is organizing a bus trip from Toms River to Trenton for people who want to show support for one of those legislative measures: Lisa’s Law.
“A Jan. 8 gathering at the statehouse is going to be very peaceful” with people who are total strangers, domestic violence victims and those who support them, DeLorme said. “We want to assure the governor that the people are behind the bill and it’s not a few family members who want to see her name on a bill,” DeLorme said.
“We did a lot of research and the million dollar price tag will truly be worth every penny,” she said.
The money will fund an electronic bracelet monitoring system similar to the one normally used for people on probation or under house arrest, DeLorme said. The victim would also have a device to let them know they need to get to safety because the offender is within a certain range of them. Police would simultaneously be notified that the offender and the victim were within the same area.
Not every person with a restraining order will get a monitoring bracelet, DeLorme said. Judges will decide if a situation warrants one, according to the law.
Lisa's Law must be signed by January 13 or the bill expires. Lisa's Light Foundation is asking its supporters to come to Trenton to voice support on the steps of the Statehouse in Trenton. All costs for transportation and food will be covered by the foundation, according to Lisa’s Light.
I realize that there are a good many couples that use restraining orders to get back at their significant others for perceived slights – rendering it an ineffective tool in protecting the true sufferers of domestic violence.
Does Lisa’s Law sound like too much “hokus pokus” to you? I would think that since we already have the technology to implement it, it’s worth a try.
If there were a “Lisa” in your life – perhaps a sister, relative, friend – it’s the least you’d want to protect them.