Can Bracelet Keep Eye On Inmates Sent Home?
Mecklenburg, N.C., plans to test out an electronic monitoring system using bracelets for 25 non-violent inmates awaiting trial, and local law enforcement hopes to expand the program thereafter. Overcrowding and costs are driving the program; in Mecklenburg, housing an inmate costs $109 per day compared to $15 a day for an electronic bracelet.
The monitoring system will send once-per-minute location updates to police and the monitoring company, and will relay an immediate alert if the brace is cut.
In nearby Pitt County during 2005, 150 inmates attempted to escape their GPS-location bracelets, and to date two remain at large who were fleeing child support payments.
Recently North Carolina has asked Pitt County Sheriff Mac Manning to use ankle bracelets for suspects in domestic violence cases in instance where they would be free before trial anyhow. The goal is to track a suspect in order to see if they approach their spouse or partner despite a court ban on doing so.
Maryland Crime Victims Resource Center director Russell Butler argues that law enforcement should limit their use of bracelets versus jail to people on trial for minor crimes, and to those set to be released anyhow.
Criminal Justice Professor Mario Paparozzi says the technology works 100 percent, but that its success depends on the design of the entire monitoring program.
Abstracted by the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center(NLECTC) from the Charlotte Observer (NC) Online (01/22/06); Durhams, Sharif .