The use of electronic ankle monitors as a substitute to incarceration or being held in jail has been normalized, and its use expanded due to the pandemic. The use of these devices is considered by many to be a more humane method of confining those convicted of crimes because it allows the wearer to live at their home and be able to move around more freely than if they were behind bars.
Others, especially those who have been the ones ordered to wear them, disagree, saying there is more than meets the eye when people see or hear that someone is under house arrest and only required to wear the ankle monitor.
If you face an ankle monitor sentence, you should discuss the matter with an Austin criminal defense lawyer.
Why Ankle Monitors Are Not What Most People Think They Are
According to recent research available on this, wearing an ankle monitor does not necessarily reduce recidivism, which is one of the primary purposes for incarceration for which ankle monitors are a substitute.
Other research shows ankle monitors are keeping those who are required to wear them to be connected to the prison system for much longer than ever before, as more and more people remain strapped to the devices for over a year.
As with many issues that involve the criminal justice system, however, you are always going to find people on both sides of the issue, and their position often depends on their own exposure to the system.
The Pros and Cons of Ankle Monitors
Those who have little or no interaction with the criminal law system are likely to see ankle monitors as an easier option, while those who do have experience see them as nothing but another form of incarceration.
For example, it is the case - and few can argue otherwise - that wearing an ankle monitor and being able to live in your home must be preferable to being confined in the small spaces for inmates held in jail. It is also true that the costs to the government for ankle monitoring are less than it would cost to have the wearer in jail or in prison.
But that is only half of the story for ankle monitors that impose financial burdens on wearers, who in most cases are required to pay a fee for wearing a monitor. It has also been documented that some wearers suffer physical discomfort or pain.
Ankle monitors are also prone to technical glitches like signal loss, incredibly short battery life, and inaccurate signals and alerts sent to monitoring agencies. These errors can cause the wearer to suffer undeserved consequences, which can further complicate the lives of people required to wear them.
As one researcher has put it, “there’s no empirical evidence that the technology is rehabilitative and that “more often than not people are both on monitors and are in custody because they cycle in and out on small violations.”
Contact Austin County Criminal Defense Lawyer
If you have been sentenced to home confinement wearing an ankle monitor, an experienced Austin County, Texas attorney from Granger and Mueller PC can help you fight to have an alternative sentence that does not require incarceration or wearing an ankle monitor. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our experienced attorneys.