Best Types of Ankle Monitors – What They Cost

By John Adebimitan

Ankle monitors are electronic devices attached to a person’s ankle, primarily for keeping people with issues with the law in check, ensuring that they don’t travel or move beyond a court-ruled distance. People mostly wear ankle monitors on house arrest or probation. Ankle monitors are also referred to as ankle bands or tags.

The device operates with GPS, through which it transmits the wearer’s location. This enables law enforcement to track them and ensure they abide by their court orders. There are three types of ankle monitors used by law enforcement, and we’ll be looking at these in this article.

Best Types of Ankle Monitors

There are three different types of ankle monitors: those that use a radio-frequency transmitter, those that use GPS, and the SCRAM ankle monitors that are meant to detect when someone takes alcohol.

  • Radio Frequency (RF) ankle monitors
  • Global Positioning Service (GPS) ankle monitors
  • Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) ankle monitors

1. Radio Frequency (RF) ankle monitors

Radio frequency (RF) ankle monitors are frequently used to ensure minors and those classified as low adhere to curfews. This monitor communicates through radio waves between a wearable monitoring device and a secondary device in the home. The additional gadget works as a tether in the house, alerting the officer in charge if the monitored individual deviates away from the tether. 

When someone is placed under home arrest, the primary means of surveillance is radio frequency monitoring. It can detect an ankle device from 50 to 150 ft.

2. Global Positioning Service (GPS) ankle monitors

The second type of ankle monitor is GPS monitoring ankle monitor. This second type tracks people using the GPS feature. While GPS monitoring can monitor someone under house arrest, its capabilities make it more useful. 

This type of ankle monitor enables those monitored to maintain a sense of normalcy. In addition, the secondary device calculates the maximum distance an individual can travel from their residence.

3. Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) ankle monitors

Another type of ankle monitor is SCRAM (Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring). It is an alcohol-monitoring ankle bracelet. The way this device is built allows it to monitor the wearer’s breath every 30 minutes.

When a person consumes alcohol, a particular quantity is digested and excreted via the skin pores like sweat. So, through the sweat on the skin, SCRAM can detect the presence of alcohol. In addition, SCRAM is fitted with a GPS tracker that keeps track of the wearer’s whereabouts.

SCRAM ankle monitors are commonly used when a defendant has been convicted of driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI).

Read also: How Far Can You Go With Ankle Monitor?

What Do Ankle Monitors Cost?

Ankle monitors typically cost the offender or person under investigation between $10 and $40 daily. In addition, there is a one-time installation price of $50 to $100 or more. In some cases, some defendants have to wear ankle monitors for years. In contrast, some even have to continue using these ankle monitors for a lifetime, driving the cost of ankle monitors to over $3000 per year minimum.

Can Ankle Monitors Listen To Conversations?

Yes, ankle monitors can listen to conversations. Some ankle monitors include built-in microphones that can listen in and record conversations without your knowledge or consent. Ankle monitors are supposed to alert you when they start recording, and you should speak to your lawyer if your ankle monitor starts recording conversations without notifying you.

Why Would Someone Have Two Ankle Monitors?

A person can have two ankle monitors based on a criminal case involving two parastatals or different crimes.

For example, Jane Doe has a pending criminal case and wears an ankle monitor until her issue is resolved; at the same time, she is an immigrant and got arrested by the DHS for violating immigration laws. They also decided to install an ankle monitor on her pending her court date. This means she has two ankle monitors on her because she has two different court cases, sometimes for different crimes and in different places.

There are three generally known types of ankle monitors, and I’ve discussed them. Each monitor has its benefits and is primarily used in law enforcement and criminal cases. I hope you find this guide very informative.

Read also: How to Tell If the Government Is Watching You Right Now

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