How do ankle monitoring devices work during house arrest?


Quick Answer

A house arrest ankle monitoring device uses both GPS tracking technology and radio frequency monitoring to ensure that a criminal defendant is where he is supposed to be at any given time, usually at home, work, medical appointments and religious services. Ankle monitoring devices are used for pretrial supervision as a bond condition, and as a sentencing alternative in some jurisdictions.

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Full Answer

Ankle monitoring devices are used in many different types of situations, with adult and juvenile criminal defendants, and with both low-risk and high-risk offenders. Part of the goal of electronic monitoring is to reduce incarceration costs. Electronic monitoring is supervised from a central site, where law enforcement, court personnel or private contractors monitor the defendant’s whereabouts. Typically, if the defendant is not where he is supposed to be, the monitoring center receives an alert that the defendant is out-of-bounds.

The strap that affixes the monitoring device to the defendant’s ankle contains sensors that also alert the monitoring center in the event the ankle monitoring device is removed by the defendant or damaged in any other way. The monitoring center also can tell when the unit’s battery is running low.

Typically, the criminal defendants, whether they are pretrial or after sentencing, bear at least part of the ankle monitoring bracelet cost.

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