Pa. debuts pilot to remotely monitor sex offenders’ computers

(Credit: Rikard Larma/ Metro)
(Credit: Rikard Larma/Metro)

The Pennsylvania Board of Probation and Parole on Wednesday announced a pilot program to monitor computer usage of sex offenders under court supervision, according to a release from chairman Michael Potteiger.

Through Securus software, parole agents will be able to log into a secure server from any computer and view screenshots of convicts’ emails, as well as review the chat rooms, games, social media sites and websites that have been accessed and keep abreast of the programs that have been installed on offenders’ computers.

“The board is increasing public safety by testing software that will allow parole agents to know when a sex offender may be engaging in inappropriate behavior,” Potteiger said in statement.

“The technology monitors words and phrases, both online and offline, on an offender’s home computer, captures a screen image, creates a log of all websites visited and saves this information on a central server.”

The six-month pilot program out of the board’s Pittsburgh District Office will include 20 to 30 sex offenders.

“The new software is designed to send the board alerts about behavior that may indicate a risk to re-offend,” Potteiger said.

“The software provides for a more effective use of a parole agent’s time through remote access of information that is automatically gathered through electronic means.”


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