When you think of ankle monitoring, you may think it is a creative way to allow people to still live in their homes who may otherwise be in jail. Because of technological advances, the use of ankle monitoring has become very popular over the last few years. People wearing an ankle monitor has more than doubled from 2005 to 2015.
Every state in the U.S along with the federal government use ankle bracelet monitoring to track the movements and activities of defendants awaiting trial and convicted offenders currently on parole or probation.
Ankle bracelets monitor people by using both GPS and RF technology. A GPS bracelet acts like the navigation system you may see in a car. The bracelet will continuously track someone in real time and report the information to authorities. If the person wearing the bracelet enters a pre-determined excluded area, the device will alert the supervising agency. RF devices will monitor the presence or absence of the wearer from an exact location. This type of bracelet is used primarily for those under house arrest or under a curfew.
Here are some other things about ankle monitoring you may not know:
People with the monitor pay to wear it
Fees can range from $5 to $25 a day. In some states, missing a payment could send the person back to jail.
The devices can be uncomfortable
The bracelets have caused some to report skin irritations.
Many states require some people convicted of certain crimes to wear the device for the rest of their life.
Problems at medical facilities
Medical procedures such as MRI’s, x-rays, mammograms and CT scans may not be administered if a person is wearing the device.
In many states the device requires a landline phone which can add an additional cost to the person wearing it. There will be a cost to the wearer if the device has parts that go missing or are damaged.
The device must stay in constant contact with authorities. If the battery goes dead the signal will be lost. Like a cell phone, the device needs to be plugged in to recharge the battery. A power outage can affect the battery staying charged and may cause a loss of signal.
Many people wearing the device have concerns about where all the tracking information goes and who has access to it.
On one single day in 2015, there were more than 125,000 people tracked in the U.S. wearing a monitoring bracelet. As the numbers of people wearing the bracelets continue to grow, it is important to understand every aspect of how these types of devices are used to determine their effectiveness.