New sex offender GPS monitoring devices being tested across South Carolina

Published: Mar. 14, 2023 at 8:44 PM EDT
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MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WMBF) - The South Carolina Department of Probation, Parole, and Pardon announced it’s testing out new devices to monitor sex offenders across the state.

Director of Field Program, Jerry Emberis, said instead of the ankle monitors, his agency is using a wrist, bracelet-like device to monitor certain sex offenders.

He said they’re only in the beginning stages of testing the new technology out.

As for current sex offenders, the regulations for monitoring them is something both Emberis and 15th Circuit Solicitor Jimmy Richardson say is a topic being debated.

Just less than a year ago, Governor Henry McMaster signed a bill to allow sex offenders in South Carolina to seek removal from South Carolina’s lifetime sex offender registry in response to the South Carolina Supreme Court’s decision in Powell v. Keel.

This bill creates state tiers for offenders and provides reasonable avenues for removal based on the offender’s applicable state tier.

In South Carolina, it is the law for SCDPPPS to track only those who have committed criminal sexual conduct in the first degree and/or towards a minor.

The agency is responsible for tracking those sex offenders across the state.

As of this year, SCDPPPS says Horry County has over 700 sex offenders, and only 73 are being monitored/tracked by SCDPPPS.

Richardson said a judge can also rule to have a sex offender be tracked on a case-by-case basis.

“A judge could also put ankle monitors as part of probation and parole for anybody they saw fit to. Even if the statute didn’t cover it,” Richardson explained.

To search for a sex offender in your area visit this link here.