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Measure Aims to Get Tough on Repeat Domestic Violence Offenders [AUDIO]

Domestic Violence
Flickr User Samantha Celera

The Jersey Legislature could soon approve a measure that calls for certain domestic violence offenders to wear GPS monitoring devices wherever they go.

Assembly sponsor Troy Singleton says the bill, designated as “Lisa’s Law,” would authorize the court to order electronic monitoring of certain repeat domestic violence offenders, and require notification to the victim when that offender is within a certain proximity.

This bill’s title is in remembrance of Letizia Zindell of Toms River who was murdered on August 13, 2009 by her former fiancée, Frank Frisco who killed himself. The murder occurred a day after he was released from jail for violating a restraining order that Ms. Zindell had filed against him.

Under the provisions of the bill, if a defendant is arrested on a second or subsequent occasion for contempt of a domestic violence restraining order, the court would be required to hold a hearing to determine whether the defendant should be placed under electronic monitoring utilizing a continuous, satellite-based, global positioning system for such a term as the court deems appropriate.

Singleton says one important goal of the legislation “is to provide at least some semblance of peace of mind to victims who have gone through the domestic violence situations… if nothing else, they at least have the ability to know where said offender is at, because there is an electronic monitoring bracelet if the person is determined that they need that.”

He points out this would give provide information about the whereabouts of an offender to a victim of domestic violence – so “the victim has the opportunity to reach out to law enforcement – and say individual X has moved within the boundaries of his restraining order or her restraining order…I think it does provide also a victim to remove themselves from a certain situation.”

The measure – to be considered by the Assembly Judiciary Committee – also stipulates that “the cost and expenses to this electronic monitoring are paid for by the defendant- so it’s not something that the state would pay for…if an individual who is outfitted with this electronic monitoring tampers, removes or in any way vandalizes it, that person is guilty of a crime of the 3rd degree – which is punishable by anywhere from 3 to 5 years.”

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