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Providing criminal defense services to
clients throughout the East Bay and
its surrounding areas.

Problems with ankle monitors affect those with criminal charges

There are many safeguards in place today that allow people to make up for a crime without spending time in prison, or allowing them to serve a reduced jail sentence and spend the rest of their sentence on parole. Ankle monitors are a popular and effective way of keeping track of people with criminal charges and allowing them to live a basically normal life. With an ankle monitor, someone with a criminal conviction in Oakland can spend unlimited time with family, as well as work at a job and attend community service and classes.

Unfortunately, there are so many electronic ankle bracelets in use today – at least 100,000 – that many law enforcement systems have become overwhelmed with the signals, or experience other problems that reduce their effectiveness. Authorities have reported issues such as dead batteries, lost satellite contact, and malfunctioning alarms.

Even worse, these accumulating problems have resulted in many cases of police delaying a check on the bracelet wearer, or not even checking up on them at all. This has created a problem with some bracelet wearers getting away with cutting off the devices and continuing to commit crimes.

However, this can be doing a great disservice to many of those who wear the ankle bracelets. Rather than spending time in prison, many people appreciate being able to stay in society and enjoy their freedom. But if the bracelets’ system is breaking down, what will it mean for those who are doing well under the program?

Some states are attempting to revamp their electronic bracelet procedures. California now requires urgent alerts to be distinguished from routine, non-emergency alerts. By fixing a system that benefits those with criminal convictions as well as their families, the long-term consequences may be largely positive.

Source: Fox News, “Analysis finds not enough monitoring of monitoring bracelets in US,” July 28, 2013

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