Department of Corrections
September 8, 2005 St Petersburg Times
In a surprise twist to Florida's fast-growing sex offender tracking system, a
Texas firm tentatively hired to help run the program has quit. The withdrawal
by Satellite Tracking of People of Houston came after more than two weeks of
field tests of its new one-piece ankle bracelet, known as BluTag.
A contract with the state Department of Corrections was contingent on
successful testing of the global positioning system devices. The state
declined to say whether problems arose in the tests. STOP declined to
comment. STOP's vice president for business development, Greg Utterback, sent the state a terse letter Tuesday stating
only that the company "is requesting to withdraw from contract
consideration." STOP's chief executive, Steve Logan, declined to
comment. STOP was one of two companies that submitted low bids to expand
electronic tracking of sex offenders under the Jessica Lunsford Act, which
includes a three-year, $3.9-million project to track up to 1,200 offenders.
The law, which took effect one week ago, was passed in memory of the 9-year-old
Homosassa girl who was abducted and killed in February. Angry at the bid
language, STOP filed a protest in July and briefly brought the program to a
halt. After the state removed the words STOP did not like, the company
dropped its protest and made the lowest bid of seven firms. The Corrections
Department split the state into two regions, north and south. STOP was the
low bidder for the northern half, including Pasco, Hernando and Citrus, the
county that was home to Jessica Lunsford and to John Couey,
a 46-year-old sex offender charged with her death. G4S Justice Services, a
subsidiary of London's Group 4 Securicor, has been hired to provide tracking
in the southern half, which includes Pinellas and Hillsborough counties.
Board of Probation and Parole
February 1, 2005 Tennessean
A state contract for satellite tracking of 600 sex and violent offenders will
go up for bid a second time after a protest by a company chaired by the
former chief executive officer of Corrections Corporation of America.
Satellite Tracking of People LLC's challenge of plans for an award to rival
Sentinel Offender Services has delayed start of the pilot project. ''We were anticipating it being up and
running,'' said John W. Carney Jr., district attorney general for Montgomery
and Robertson counties. Nashville-based STOP was among four bidders
under the first request for proposals. STOP's chairman is Doctor Crants, co-founder of prison operator CCA. After the state's Board of Probation and
Parole decided Sentinel had the best program, STOP protested. STOP,
meanwhile, also sued another bidder, Pro Tech Monitoring of Odessa, Fla.,
last week. STOP's suit seeks to block Pro Tech from offering a rival product
that STOP claims violates its patent. The patent in question was inherited
through STOP's purchase earlier this year of a business called VeriTracks from defense contractor General Dynamics.