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Do Ankle Monitors Work?

Is it time to think outside of the ankle monitor, inventing better tracking technologies or maybe considering more realistic options?

Issuing electronic monitoring devices instead of imprisonment became mainstream in the early 80s, when the devices became inexpensive and manageable. Today there are two types of monitors.  One determines if the offender breaks curfew or remains on house arrest, and the other version continuously tracks the person with GPS signals, providing minute-by-minute location information. The question is: How reliable and adequate are today’s ankle monitors?

The effectiveness of both types of monitors is questionable, as offenders continue to tamper with them, remove them and even commit crimes while wearing them. Martha Stewart wore an ankle monitor for five months while under house arrest, and openly says YouTube is a great educational resource for learning how to remove the device. Any offender with computer access could be monitor-free after viewing a few online demonstrations.

And what about responses from parole officers? These devices send alerts for various violations, but in many cases, the officers don’t respond. How are hundreds of unanswered alerts solving the problem?

Even if the ankle monitor is worn faithfully, many violent offenders haven’t been deterred from continuing to commit crimes. Should the judicial system make tougher decisions about these offenders instead of offering them ankle bracelets?

If you have questions contact San Antonio Criminal Defense Attorney Sam Lock.

Read more about the topic here.

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