New Jersey Assemblyman Troy Singleton (D-Mount Laurel) is blasting a report by the state attorney general’s office that raises concerns about the cost and reliability of a pilot program, called Lisa’s Law, that would track certain domestic violence offenders using GPS devices.
“The lack of thorough research that is associated with this report should be embarrassing to the governor (and) to the attorney general,” said Singleton, who sponsored the legislation to create the pilot program. “It almost makes it seem to me that the attorney general and whoever was part of this mysterious, mystical task force did not even read the original bill.”
Gov. Christie conditionally vetoed the legislation on Jan. 17 so that the attorney general’s office could review it to determine if the technology is available. The report was due in mid-May, but wasn’t released until Oct. 1.
In addition to questioning the reliability of the technology required for the pilot program, the report also suggests that the victim could possibly manipulate the program to intentionally get the offender in hot water with the law.
According to the report, there is concern that the victim could “use the alert system to inconvenience or bring unwarranted law enforcement scrutiny to the offender.” The report cites an example of a victim approaching “the offender with the goal of setting off an alert indicating the offender is too close to the victim.” Singleton called that portion of the report offensive.
The technology exists and 20 other states have a similar program, according to Singleton, who reintroduced his bill and vowed to fight until it is law.
“It frustrates me to no end that as we mark October as Domestic Violence Awareness month that we are continuing to not do more to turn victims into survivors,” Singleton said.
The law was named in honor of Letizia Zindell of Toms River who was murdered in 2009 by her former fiancé a day after he was released from jail for violating a restraining order that she had filed against him. Zindell was 30 years old.