Law Offices of Jess C. Bedore III - Certified Specialist in Criminal Law
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Electronic monitoring, house arrest aren't as great as they sound

Imagine a person who has been accused and convicted of a crime. They pay their debt to society and serve some time in jail, in addition to a bevy of other consequences. Now, as part of their crime and the punishment it entails, they must spend a year or so under house arrest when they are released from prison. During this time, they will be monitored with an ankle bracelet.

Now this may seem like a perfect transition to you, right? It allows the state to monitor the individual while he or she acclimates back in to society. However, the reality is that house arrest and electronic monitoring are far from the "middle step" that many people think it is.

First of all, in most situations, the individual has to pay for the electronic device that they will wear. These fees can even be monthly, creating a drain on the individual's finances. Secondly, the individual has to wear this monitoring device indefinitely and continuously. Imagine a piece of metal rubbing against your ankle for a year, and never being able to take it off. That's practically torture.

Third and finally, given the monitoring involved, the individual is hardly "free." There are places they can't go, and if they are discovered upon review to have gone somewhere they should not have been (or if they leave an area during a period of time when they are not allowed to leave) then serious consequences can be dealt to the individual.

Source: Mother Jones, "The Quiet Horrors of House Arrest, Electronic Monitoring, and Other Alternative Forms of Incarceration," Maya Schenwar, Jan. 22, 2015

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