EM and Pre-Trial Justice

Pre-Trial EM in California-The Debate Over SB10

This piece provides an overview of different pre-trial EM regimes in California. As always, the dominant narrative is that it is a “win-win.” But yet some people are paying $26 a day to be on a monitor while they wait months or even years to have their case resolved. The simple question is: if the court agrees the person should be allowed out of jail, why do they need to add an ankle shackle, especially with a daily fee? This is just another example of how the system piles punishment on punishment, with the financial penalties being yet another layer to the draining of a person’s resources.

The article reflects an ongoing debate in California over SB10, the Pre-Trial Services Bill which would mandate the setting up of Pre-Trial services in the counties of the state, push for use of Risk Assessment Tools to reduce jail populations and stipulate that those freed awaiting trial should be released under the “least restrictive” conditions possible.  If this passes, there will be lots more to debate about implementation-who runs the pre-trial services and how much money they get for doing it and in what cases is EM viewed as the “least restrictive” measure (and if used-how much should it cost).

Electronic Monitoring of Defendants Is Increasing, But at What Price?

About the author

James Kilgore

James Kilgore is an activist , writer and educator based in Urbana, Illinois. He is a Soros Justice Fellow for 2017-18. His project, Challenging E-Carceration, focuses on electronic monitoring in the criminal legal system.