LePage approves funds for domestic violence electronic monitoring program

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AUGUSTA — Gov. Paul LePage approved funding Thursday for a pilot program that will use electronic monitors to track those convicted of domestic violence crimes.

“The programs are part of a pilot project that will research the use of electronic devices on offenders as a way to increase compliance, reduce recidivism and maintain public safety,” according to a news release from LePage’s office. 

The State Board of Corrections has selected Kennebec County to serve as the urban pilot project site, while Somerset and Sagadahoc counties will serve as rural pilot sites.

“Identifying and implementing programs that reduce domestic violence crimes across our state continues to be a priority for our administration,” LePage said in a prepared statement.

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He also gave credit to state Rep. Ken Fredette, R-Newport, House minority leader.

“Electronic monitoring has proven successful in other states, and I look forward to the results of these programs so we can move ahead on this as quickly as possible,” LePage said.

The pilot projects will run for up to six months, between Jan. 1 and June 30, 2015. Kennebec and Sagadahoc counties each will receive $4,000 to begin the project, while Somerset County will receive an initial award of $2,000. 

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