Tuesday, March 18, 2008
The family of a slain Elmhurst real estate broker is setting up an advocacy group to press for changes in domestic violence laws, including wider use of global positioning devices to track those who violate protection orders, the woman's brother said Monday.
Cindy Bischof, 43, had an order of protection against former boyfriend Michael L. Giroux, who on March 7 fatally shot her and then killed himself.Her brother, Michael Bischof, is working with some of her longtime friends to set up the advocacy group. Her family hopes to make orders of protection more effective and figure out ways to better protect people in fear of domestic violence."We recognize that there are far more victims of just harassment and fear who, as a result, have a loss of freedom," because of fears they may be attacked, her brother said.He would like Illinois to use global positioning system devices to track those who violate orders of protection. Such tracking could give victims a greater ability to move freely, he said.GPS tracking already is being used on people convicted of various crimes in at least 40 states, including Illinois, most often those considered sexual predators, according to those in the tracking industry.Currently, 257 people on parole for sex crimes in Illinois are being tracked with GPS devices, a spokesman for the state Department of Corrections said Monday.Legal authorities in several states are using GPS on people who have violated protection orders, said Carl Wicklund, executive director of the American Probation & Parole Association.
The technology can be used to alert victims when someone comes too close to a place from which they have been banned, such as a victim's home or workplace, he said.The monitoring can run to about $25 a day per person, depending on how someone is being tracked, said Jeff Durski, spokesman for iSecuretrac Corp., an Omaha company that provides monitoring for governments in 40 states. It just began offering victim-alerts as part of its monitoring services two months ago, he said.The Cook County state's attorney's office, which works with those seeking orders of protection, would support using the technology if it can be proved to work well, a spokesman said.
The Bischof family has set up a non-profit group to provide scholarships for young women to DePaul University, Cindy Bischof's alma mater, her brother said. The family also has launched a
Web site http:// www.cindys memorial.org.
(Source: Liam Ford, Chicago Tribune)