US to pay for GPS devices to monitor mentally ill citizens

The Justice Department will pay for GPS tracking devices for children with autism or other conditions that put them at risk for fleeing their caregivers.
Senator Charles E. Schumer, Democrat of New York, said on Wednesday that the federal government already provided grant money for devices to track seniors with Alzheimer’s and that the department would now allow for the grant funds’ beneficiaries to include children with autism spectrum disorder.
A teenager, Avonte Oquendo, who had severe autism and was nonverbal, disappeared on Oct. 4, setting off an extensive search. His remains were found in the East River this month, miles from where he was last seen.
The cause of Avonte’s death remains under investigation.
Mr. Schumer said the program would be run by local law enforcement agencies.
Last weekend, Avonte’s family and Mr. Schumer called for legislation to provide the devices. He said he would continue to push for it, to provide a stable source of funding.

The senator had put the cost of each monitor at about $85, plus a few dollars in monthly fees.

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