Thursday, April 9, 2009

How Effective Is GPS Monitoring For Victims of Domestic Violence?

Susan Murphy Milano blogged about the case of alleged double-murderer Derrick Yancey, former police officer charged with killing his wife and a day laborer. She often writes about the perils that wives of officers face when trying to end a relationship, and often, with nowhere to turn, wind up dead.

Such was the case for Linda Yancey not long after she made mistake number one, announcing her intentions. There are several things that must be done when leaving a dangerous relationship and Susan lays it out in her books, "Defending Our Lives" and "Moving Out, Moving On" which includes a workbook format. It is imperative that these women follow strict safety plans, but unfortunately, Linda Yancey didn't know about it, as well as thousands of other domestic violence victims who will wind up with the same fate.

Last week it was reported that Derrick Yancey, who is out on bond had escaped from his GPS bracelet and escaped his house arrest. The shocking thing about this is that it took 11 hours before the chain of command from the monitoring company to officials was completed and a manhunt began! How far can you get in 11 hours? If you have transportation, you could get half way across the country!

Many survivors of domestic violence are depending on GPS monitoring to keep themselves and their children alive. These offenders, in most cases, will not give up the hunt and want to regain the control they lost while in prison or jail. GPS is, for now, one of the most valuable tools a victim has to know where that offender is lurking. But how good is the technology when the company that is hired to monitor falls asleep at the wheel?

An article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution today explains the turn of events and how that chain of command broke down in the early hours of the morning as Derrick Yancey slipped out of his GPS and took off to parts unknown.

From the looks of the article there is a lot of blame to go around for this bumble, starting with the monitoring company and delays all the way to the top.

More than four hours passed from the time an alarm beeped from Yancey’s ankle monitor at 5:41 a.m. Saturday to the time authorities made their first attempts to determine Yancey’s whereabouts, according to the statement from Chief Magistrate Judge Winston Bethel, who oversees DeKalb’s Pretrial Services.

A phone message from the private monitoring firm to the company overseeing Yancey’s home arrest was not picked up until three hours later. Another hour passed before that company notified Pretrial Services, and it took 10 hours for court officials to notify the Sheriff’s Office that Yancey had fled.

The people responsible for monitoring Yancey never reached him by phone, according to a timeline released with the report.

If Derrick Yancey is roaming around your neighborhood tonight, armed and dangerous, or if he decides to murder someone else, where should the blame fall? This man needs to be apprehended soon, although the object of his rage is already dead, he needs to be brought to justice in her honor.

GPS is not always a false hope for abused and battered women, sometimes it's the only hope!

Look for Susan’s upcoming book, “Time’s Up; A Guide on How to Leave and Survive Abusive and Stalking Relationships” to be released Summer of 2009.  

Check the time, it’s UP, do not hesitate to claim your ticket towards a lifetime of freedom from of abuse and visit Susan’s site  for lifesaving advice, inspiration and clear directions , including her vital and impacting, currently available resource, “Moving out, Moving on.”

The Susan Murphy Milano Show airs each Wednesday afternoon at 4pm EST, a must hear source for all those affected by the painful cruelty of a life abused.

Sara Huizenga
Peki Jones

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Missing Persons Awareness and Support Network

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