Nov 252011
 November 25, 2011  Posted by  Surveillance, Youth & Schools

Andrea Williams reports on an anklet tracking system in Meridian, Mississippi that’s being used as an alternative to detention for some juvenile offenders:

Since the program started in March, a total of 130 house arrest monitors have been placed on juvenile offenders here; a fraction of those are repeat offenders. However, program officials say overall, the initiative is working.

“For first time offenders, those who are brought in and they just need a second chance, I think it works very, very well,” said Terrence Roberts, YET, Detention Alternative Director. “For those who are hardened and think, ‘I’m just going to do what I’m going to do,’ it may not work as well. But what it does is provide evidence that, ‘Here I am at this location doing this crime.”

Since its start, the ankle monitors have actually helped authorities track some juveniles as they committed a crime. The youngest so far to be fitted with one was around nine years old.

Read more on WTOK

An ankle bracelet on a nine year-old as an alternative to detention?  Nine?  That’s almost unimaginable except that I know that even children can commit crimes – even deadly ones.  It’s still disturbing, though.

What’s also disturbing is one of the comments under the news article:  “I think all teenagers should wear the ankle monitors so parents will know where their child is at all times. Where can I get one for my 17 year old?”  While it may have been a joke, I have a feeling it was a serious comment.

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