DOC data show that of the 1,258 offenders on GPS monitoring in January, 131 had no permanent place to live. This means about one in 10 offenders may not have regular or easy access to an outlet to charge a monitoring device. A DOC spokesman said agents typically allow homeless offenders to charge their bracelets in parole offices.
DOC records show some homeless offenders avoid this logistical challenge by absconding — removing their bracelets or letting them run out of power — which completely defeats the purpose of GPS monitoring.
Michael’s struggle to find housing illustrates a problem that is widespread in Wisconsin communities, where dozens of sex offenders are homeless due in part to ordinances restricting where they can live.
DOC officials have acknowledged that highly restrictive municipal residency ordinances in more than 150 Wisconsin communities such as Green Bay and until recently, Milwaukee, are contributing to the problem, according to emails obtained by the Center under the public records la . These local laws prevent sex offenders from residing too closely to places including parks, schools and day-care centers, leaving virtually nowhere for them to live.