PORTLAND, Ore. -- Starting as early as next week, Multnomah County will put GPS tracking bracelets on some suspected gang members currently supervised by its Department of Community Justice.
County leaders approved a $10,000 pilot program designed to target only those at-risk youth with criminal records who are about to slip through the cracks of gang culture.
The GPS tracking would be granted by permission of the court and limited to only a few youth. Last month's deadly, gang-related shooting spree in Downtown Portland underscores the need for such a program, said the County.
If you take the Downtown situation -all those bullets flying around- if we can intervene, if we can identify who is doing that and hold them accountable, said Carl Goodman, Assistant Director to the Adult Services Division, I think we're making the community much much safer.
Jann Carson of the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon worries about a proverbial slippery slope as the technology becomes more available and government is potentially tempted to track more and more youth arbitrarily.
I'm hopeful that they're really going to be monitoring how they're going to be using it, who they're selecting and what kind of follow-up happens, she said.
The ACLU believes the County's GPS experiment is set up well but it worries the program will end up targeting youth of color disproportionately.