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Shackles Aren’t Bracelets: Reflections on EM Terminology

In this piece for In These Times, E-Carceration’s James Kilgore contests the notion that electronic monitors should be referred to as “ankle bracelets.” He argues:

“J-Lo wears ankle bracelets. Women in Egypt have worn gold and silver ankle bracelets for centuries. These accessories have little in common with the black boxes the criminal legal system straps on ankles as punishment. The most benign word we can use for them is “monitors.” Spanish-speaking immigrants have another term: “grilletes,” or shackles. Whatever you call them, they are devices of unfreedom—not decoration.”

Read the entire article here.

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.