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Commentary

Maxwell Monty: Parole enjoys playing Tether “Gall”

[Maxwell Monty]

“You cannot ever unplug that box! You are tethered to it!” shouted my parole agent during a recent phone conversation. The referred to apparatus is the black box that was installed in my apartment to maximize connection for maintenance checks with the GPS monitor on my ankle. Frequently, the box inexplicably emits beeps. When that happens, I unplug it, and five minutes later plug it back in and reboot it to my ankle monitor. This process routinely has occurred over the past five months; and I had not received one call regarding any problem with my whereabouts. That changed two weeks ago when a call arrived from my parole agent indicating that I was “pinging all over the place on the radar.” After I explained what had been taking place, the “tethered” comment was voiced.

Hearing “tethered” was jarring because it was yet another base example proving what little regard there is for individuals on parole (and the registry).

On May 1, 2017, I was released on parole in Connecticut. My parole agent fastened on my ankle monitor and said, “OK, while on parole the goal is for you to go about your normal life, but with the GPS I will watch your every move.” I recall thinking sarcastically, “Huh, nothing conveys ‘go about your normal life,’” like, “’I will watch your every move.’” And seventy-eight days later (July 18, 2107), before unclipping the ankle monitor, she asked, “Are you ready to say goodbye to your built-in alibi?” When I expressed confusion, she continued, “This ankle monitor was serving as an alibi for you in case you were wrongfully accused of anything. Most parolees appreciate wearing one for that very reason.” I departed my parole agent’s office no longer wearing an “alibi” but carrying even more cynicism towards a system that smacked of hypocrisy.

I moved to California on August 19, 2020.  The following day, I met with my parole agent and was greeted with, “I hope you went to the beach and a park yesterday, because now you’re not allowed to and I’ll know if you do once I place this monitor onto your ankle.” (For the record, over the course of a year, despite making many phone calls to a variety of law enforcement offices, the ankle-monitor regulation was not brought to my attention until one week before my transfer was approved.) As she fitted the hardware, she added, “Look at it as a positive. If you are ever accused of something that you did not do, this monitor will serve as an alibi.” Upon hearing that, I blurted, “Is that ‘alibi’ selling point in a manual? My parole agent in Connecticut tried peddling that crud to me, as well.” My agent scoffed and said, “Well, it has helped others avoid being remanded, so it should be considered as a point of comfort.” This is the same agent, that one month later called to ask where I was because my ankle monitor had me in six different places, simultaneously. And two months later, during a house visit, that parole agent, said, “One time a client was pinging in the Pacific Ocean while I was standing next to him in his house. These devices are so outdated.” And these are the devices that should be a “point of comfort”? Apparently, an alibi for my comforting “alibi” would potentially be required.

And my current parole agent views the device as a tether. There is nothing pleasant about being tethered to anything by someone else’s choice. Involuntarily tethering connotes one who is restrained, shackled, fettered, bound, or lashed. But far more insulting than the physical component that has me charted on a radar and potentially and falsely “pinging all over the place, including in the middle of the Pacific Ocean,” is the joking and provoking tone that comes along with the illogical statements explaining the importance of the ankle monitor; it is a clear attempt to oversee and control on all levels. Apparently, parole believes that those convicted of a crime have lost the capacity to command reason. Go about your life we are told. But, like a ball tethered to a pole, we can only go so far before being reminded of the cold reality of that to which we are grounded. That is their game.

 

Join the discussion

  1. w

    They need to know where people are, though they can’t realistically track everyone and its not doing any good anyway because a tethered person could still commit crimes and if it’s a violent criminal they should be back in prison to begin with. Now of course they’ll use “risk assessment” in place of actual criminal history so they can always malign you in some way and create the narrative that you are bad person. Anything they can claw at or lean on to push that narrative. The aim is to not have “successful” registrants. If they want to have a job to keep milking and keep pandering for votes they need failures. So they make it easy to fail. And those who aren’t compliant help them drum-up the fear factor.

    Welcome to “catch 22 million”.

  2. Tim in WI

    To the Author,
    Best practical description ever!
    The purveyors of this database driven device are paid, while you do the work. Even when it’s not functioning your paying. Units that do not work need maintaining or a new device. How nice for the purveyors because their pay is locked into the equation. Ubiquitous indeed!

  3. Detroit

    This whole registration thing is assinine. If they tried to make me “register”, I would leave the country.

  4. Good luck

    Good luck on that childish idea the Feds dont just enjoy …they love a goooood chase and MARSHALS GET ALL THEY NEED AND MORE to track you down and they are given power to find you ,,,,time to stop day dreaming ….SMART is Very High and Frightening !!!

  5. AERO1

    There never gonna stop tracking sexofenders its and eazy money grab for LE and a political stepping stone for politicians. Sexofenders are monder day slaves the government tags and releases them back into society if any sexofender run’s or try’s to escape
    the sexofender task forces in full ARMY tactical gear will track and hunt down every single sexofender in this country to prove Law Enforcement is doing there job and to continue receiving their federal funding in the name of public safety.
    Currently California has all sexofenders listed in one big lump sum its frustrating because these sexofender task forces are wasting taxpayers money tracking low risk offenders.
    I hope next year when SB384 takes affect it separates theses SVP’S and pedophiles from low risk level sexofenders.
    Why should everybody suffer for someone else’s crimes. Low risk offenders should cut ties with all habitual SVP’S and pedophiles if ACSOL would publicity denounce theses type of sexoffenders and theses type of crimes they would see more support from there communities and from politicians in the state of California.
    It’s so obvious there after SVP’S and pedophiles we should just hand them over and leave them to their own demise there actions allready got them stuck with the labeled for the rest of their life we can’t save them their hopeless we might as well save are self’s

    Good luck

  6. Brandon

    Ankle monitors are about as worthless S the static 99. How can an individual be at 6 places at once? Does John Walsh have investments in ankle monitors because at one time he wanted a device up our butts, so it would explode if we weren’t we could be.

  7. Saddles

    @w. One wonders who’s in denile today. Well I am. Sure their are many view’s and comments on here. Yes I tried to enlighten you with some spiritual thoughts to help in much of this confusion. So is all this a catch -22 or where did love go or do people know today what love is today. Even Jackie Deshannon song what the world needs now should of brought some love in the late 60’s and more so today.

    Is it loving thy neighbor, Do unto others as you would want them to do unto you, or is it callous judgement , the erase the hate, or whos’ the next rocket scientist to find a cure. Guess we would all be lost without the basic building blocks which are found in the bible. wisdom truth and understanding. Should we all be prisoners or should we get understanding by asking a prisoner of war? One should wonder were is the spirit of truth today.

    Some say they don’t understand me or others. Denile of what? One wonders who is just as much responsible. Is having a filthy mouth or signing a contract that one knew that it was a teenager one was talking to. That right their is the downfall of many. So who’s forcing who’s hand in this callous deception of this basic internet romp. One wonders today who is the enemy in this catch-22.

    Now Janices platform is good and those that are standing up to big brother government do have a voice. Even this monitoring thing is way out of balance in so many ways and yes love covers a multiple of sins even with this offender ordeal we are wrapped in today. Pressing on is good and helping others is good also. Myself I look at much of this sex offender issue as an opportunity and nothing wrong with correcting much of this government kayos in much of this deceptive penality of bias degree. Even a lot of this teir issue is man made grievousness.

  8. Detroit

    Companies charge states $300-$500 per month for GPS monitoring. Look up GPS monitoring from Greatcall, etc. They charge $9 to $19 a month. Anyone who pays their fees is a fool. This is legal theft and someone needs to take them to court to open their books.

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