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Monitoring the Use of Electronic Monitoring

One February night in 2009, our phone rang. It was two in the morning. My 95-year-old mother was on the line. She told me she was having chest pains, thought she was having a heart attack, and had already called 911. Since she lived less than a mile away, my immediate response should have been to rush to her side. Instead, I dialed the 1-800 number anyone on parole on an electronic monitoring device is required to call.

The operator picked up after 15 minutes and told me I needed the permission of my parole agent to leave the house. I knew he wouldn’t be available—it was 2:00 AM, after all—so I faced a difficult choice: go to the hospital and risk getting sent back to prison, or follow the rules and risk my mother passing away without me, after I had already been absent from her life for the six and a half years I was in prison. Fortunately, I had a partner who could go quickly to the hospital. Fortunately, my mother survived. Full Article

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  1. David Kennerly, The Government-Driven Life

    From Bill Dobbs: “What about “electronic monitoring”? More and more individuals including many with a sex offense history are required to wear the special equipment for this type of state surveillance. Anyone who runs afoul of Big Brother could be looking at prison time–that’s why James Kilgore urged calling the monitoring equipment “shackles” at a recent New York conference. Kilgore has deep knowledge and personal experience with electronic monitoring, have a look at his latest essay and learn about a new campaign, Challenging E-Carceration. –Bill Dobbs, The Dobbs Wire

    Open Society Foundations | March 22, 2018

    Monitoring the Use of Electronic Monitoring

    By James Kilgore

    Excerpts: Use of electronic monitoring devices (EM), first introduced in the 1980s, more than doubled between 2005 and 2015, according to research by the Pew Charitable Trusts. The technology has become increasingly popular as the movement to reduce mass incarceration gains momentum. It is touted as a way of bringing down prison populations while still keeping people under the watchful eye of the state.

    But electronic monitoring needs to be understood for what it really is: incarceration by another name. And it’s a form of incarceration which has largely arisen without scrutiny or regulation. The surge in the use of these shackles also raises troubling questions about the surveillance state.

    It is time, at long last, to try to shine some light on these “gray areas.” I have been working for the past year to help develop guidelines to try to address some of these issues—and safeguard the rights of those on the monitor. I am in good company, working with dozens of advocates and individuals who have lived under EM who are part of a wider effort, the Challenging E-Carceration campaign. MORE:

    https://www.opensocietyfoundations.org/voices/monitoring-use-electronic-monitoring

    • Eric

      And many people are put on electronic monitoring the minute the justice system gets their eye on them, before they are convicted. They are incarcerated via EM without a conviction.

  2. Eric

    I saw a news report of a convicted gang member whose house was raided, he was hosting a dog fight, selling drugs, had guns, and gang member friends over. It turns out he was on supervised release and the whole time he was doing this he hand and ankle monitor and nobody knew it. Monitoring is a joke. If someone is a true criminal they will commit the crime regardless. A person who doesn’t want to get in trouble again won’t need one.

  3. Gunjan Gupta

    thanks for the information keep it up guys

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