AP Impact: Some ankle bracelet alarms go unchecked

By DAVID B. CARUSO and NICHOLAS RICCARDI
Associated Press

More and more agencies are using electronic ankle monitors to keep tabs on offenders. But the trackers have proliferated so much that some officials are struggling to handle an avalanche of monitoring alerts for things like curfew violations, lost satellite contact and dead batteries.

Amid all that white noise, alarms are going unchecked – sometimes on defendants now accused of new crimes.

Supporters of electronic monitoring say recent high-profile tragedies allegedly involving monitored offenders are the exception. They say the trackers are a valuable tool for authorities.

But reports show that some agencies don't have clear protocols on how to handle the many alerts, or don't always follow them. At times, officials took days to act, if they even noticed, when criminals tampered with their bracelets or broke curfew.

Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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