Every day judges in Orange county have to make a decision about what to do with certain violent offenders awaiting trial.

Since April 2, judges had to scratch home confinement and GPS monitoring off their list of options.

That was the result of a private company failing to notify police that Wilfred Gregory of Apopka had cut off his ankle bracelet. Police say that happened shortly after shooting a man at an Easter party. Police say they were not notified that Gregory had cut off his monitoring device until six hours later.

Judge Belvin Perry suspended that program. However while the GPS monitoring program is under review, the Department of Corrections found about 50 violent offenders were being put on the street with no technology to track where they were.

"So the thought was to have some of these cases reviewed by the judges, and if the judges felt it appropriate, could also add the component for GPS," said Orange County Public Safety director Linda Weinberg.

Weinberg called the move a "stopgap measure" for an added level of protection for the public.

Not everyone is happy about the new move.

"It's a flawed program. It's a program that's failing nationwide. It's one of the programs that failed my son," said Rafael Zaldivar.

Zaldivar's son, Alex was allegedly killed by Bessman Okafor, who was on home confinement awaiting trial for a home invasion case. As a result of that case, Judge Perry also suspended that program.

Zaldivar wants to see the courts get tougher on offenders.
"I'd rather see them microchipped. Why not?" said Zaldivar.

Zaldivar also said more violent offenders should be kept behind bars until they can stand trial.

"You know every case is different," said Weinberg. "There are nuiasances to each case, so it's really a judicial call on whether or not they need the enhanced monitoring."

The county has contracted with "3M." It is an electronic monitoring company that has been under fire in recent days in California with claims the company's ankle bracelets were "inacurate," "unreliable," and tampering alerts failed.

Zaldivar wonders why the county would bring back an electronic monitoring program under the leadership of a company that seems to be dealing with a host of problems on its own.

"I just can't believe this department didn't know about this. And they don't do a background check on them? They don't check their resumes," said Zaldivar.

Steve Triggs, spokesman for Orange County says why:

"We're using 3M because we were able to piggyback on the Florida Department of Corrections contract. They have had no issues with 3M. 3M also does GPS all over the US and in 25 other nations. I can't speak for the situation in California other than to say that they may not have been using the latest GPS technology."

However, replacement devices appear to have solved the problem in California.

An outside consulting firm is studying Orange County's home confinement and GPS programs. There should be report of what they found as early as July.