Can Tethers Give Jails Leg Up On Space?
Due to overcrowding in local jails, counties in the metropolitan Detroit area may decide to increase the use of electronic ankle tethers to reduce the jail population and keep tabs on released offenders.
Currently, jail overcrowding has forced many jurisdictions in the area to release nonviolent offenders before they have completed their sentences. In Macomb County, Mich., an overcrowding committee has recommended that the county increase the use of tethers and that all county judges be given a number of beds to fill within their caseloads.
The effort could also help save money, as it costs $75 per day to house each prisoner, compared with $8 to $16 per day for tethering.
Tether technology was first introduced in the late 1980s and it has improved steadily throughout the years. Some of the latest tether models feature blood-alcohol monitors, and use global positioning systems to monitor offenders’ whereabouts.
The Macomb County overcrowding committee also suggested the introduction of a bed-allotment system for each judge, with the system allowing judges to fill a certain number of beds at a jail but forcing them to find alternatives to incarcerating low-level offenders.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Detroit News (12/06/05) P. 1A; Lynch, Jim .