Gusciora Bill to Improve Protections for Stalking Victims Passes Assembly

(TRENTON) – Legislation Assemblyman Reed Gusciora sponsored to improve protections for stalking victims by allowing for electronic monitoring was approved by the full Assembly on Thursday.]

The bill (A-3841) authorizes the court to order electronic monitoring of a defendant convicted of a second or subsequent offense of stalking against the same victim.

“Once is enough, but second and subsequent violations raise serious concerns for the victim’s public safety,” said Gusciora (D-Mercer/Hunterdon). “The technology exists to provide this protection, so let’s do it.”

Under the bill, the Administrative Office of the Courts in consultation with the Attorney General is directed to establish a program for the continuous, satellite-based monitoring of such defendants. The monitoring system would use global positioning system (GPS) technology.

The bill would also require the Director of the Administrative Office of the Courts, Attorney General, Superintendent of State Police and county and municipal law enforcement agencies to share criminal incident information with each other and the vendor selected by the director to provide the monitoring equipment for the program.

“We’ve seen too many cases where stalking led to even worse crimes, but with this monitoring we can protect victims and give them a sense of personal safety,” added Gusciora. “Quite simply, it’s common sense to use the technology at hand to do the right thing.”

The bill would assess the cost of the monitoring device to the person being monitored. In addition, the bill makes it a crime of the third degree to tamper with, remove, or vandalize a monitoring device.

The Assembly passed the measure 71-0. The bill was released by the Assembly Judiciary Committee on December 11.