PHOENIX (CBS Las Vegas) – The federal government is using ankle monitors to keep track of undocumented immigrants from Central America who remain free in the US until their court hearings.

Roughly 1,800 pre-trial defendants in Maricopa County are participating in an ankle bracelet program that is reducing the jail population and also saving taxpayers money, KPHO reported.

“They know exactly where I am at,” Susan, who asked that her real name or picture not be used because she is facing a drug charge, told KPHO. “”It’s GPS and they know where I am at all times. It just gives me an opportunity to remain free and be able to maintain employment and handle my affairs. I do feel like it is showing the court I am a productive member of society.”

Susan wears an ankle monitor so that her probation officer can keep track of her.

“It’s much cheaper to have somebody out on a bracelet than putting them in custody,” Taylor Pile of the state Adult Probation Department said to KPHO.

It has been reported that immigration officials don’t have enough detention facilities to hold all of the illegal immigrants who are coming to the US from Central America.

Now, the federal government is expanding the number of ankle monitors given to undocumented immigrants. Officials explained that ankle bracelets are effective in getting the undocumented immigrants to appear in court.

“The compliance rate with those who are being monitored with electronic ankle bracelets can be as high as 90 percent,” Amber Cargile of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, told KPHO.

It costs $118 a day to keep a person in jail, while the ankle bracelet monitoring system costs only $5 a day.

Adults are the only ones who were them and express that it is better than being in jail.

“It doesn’t hurt at all,” Susan said to KPHO. “There’s no inconvenience. It’s comfortable. I have no issues with it.”

Roughly 7,400 undocumented immigrants are currently wearing an ankle bracelet with 314 of them in Arizona.


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