Crimes Underscore Risks Of “House Arrest” On Electronic Monitors
Electronic monitors that are used to keep tabs on defendants on house arrest are certainly not a foolproof way of ensuring that defendants stay out of trouble. Some defendants on electronic monitoring are allowed to leave home for a certain prescribed time each week, usually to go to work.
But defendants can abuse this freedom by skipping work and going elsewhere without authorities’ knowledge, as happened with Fred Carswell of Florida. Carswell, who was confined to the home while awaiting trial for attempted murder, was allowed out of the house from 7:30 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. to work in a deli.
But authorities conducting a drug raid discovered that instead of going to work Carswell had been visiting his grandmother’s house, where he cooked batches of crack cocaine in her kitchen.
The Broward County, Fla., Sheriff’s Office notes that the use of electronic monitors, at a cost of just $3 a day, is a cheap way of making sure offenders stay put, compared with placing the offenders in jail, which costs $78 per day.
Fewer than 5 percent of offenders wearing electronic ankle bracelets while awaiting trial are caught committing a crime while awaiting for their trial to begin, according to the sheriff’s office.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Miami Herald (12/19/03); Bierman, Noah; DeMarzo, Wanda J.