MediaJustice

Wisconsin

Key Highlight: Draconian regime of lifetime GPS

Videos

Videos

This video shows a 2014 mobilization of activists and faith-based organizations in Milwaukee who targeted GPS monitoring and parole revocations. This may be the earliest statewide protest against EM in the U.S.

James Morgan speaks about being repeatedly sent back to prison for allegedly violating EM rules.

EM and the Law

In 2018 eight plaintiffs filed a lawsuit that lifetime GPS violated their civil rights. Some had lived without electronic supervision for years before a ruling by the state’s Department of Corrections placed them on monitors if they had more than one conviction for a sexually-related offense. The same ruling also made GPS mandatory for everyone under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, regardless of the nature of their convictions.

In 2015 DeAnthony Muldrow appealed his conviction on a sexually related offense on the grounds that lifetime GPS post-release was not part of his plea agreement. The Wisconsin Supreme Court rejected Muldrow’s claim, concluding neither the intent nor the effect of lifetime GPS was punitive.

Post-Prison/Companies

Wisconsin has a long history of technical problems with GPS devices. A 2013 report by the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism highlighted the cases of a number of people who had been sent back to prison because their devices malfunctioned. A 2017 follow-up report by the center found the devices, made by BI Incorporated, still had serious defects. The state GPS monitoring system lost cell connection 56,853 times in the month of May alone. Despite these problems, the Department of Corrections continued to expand their GPS program, which by 2018 had more than doubled the number of people on GPS.

Resistance

A number of organizations, including Ex-Incarcerated People Organizing (EXPO) have campaigned against the use of GPS, particularly focusing on the excessive number of revocations due to device malfunctions.

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