SALINAS, Calif. - A new study out of the Bay Area finds electronic monitoring within the California Juvenile Justice System is flawed. The study looks at information from all counties around the state, including those on the Central Coast.
There's no such thing as a perfect system anywhere, and when it comes to the electronic monitoring system for juveniles, this new study finds a lot of improvements can be made.
The report pulled together by UC Berkeley School of Law and East Bay Community Law Center finds GPS monitoring is overly burdensome. With it comes home confinement, invasive surveillance, and high fees. In addition, California Counties enforce a number of rules that go along with the monitoring program, which can range anywhere from eight rules in Solano County all the way up to 56 in Lassen County.
"In many circumstances, youth are being assigned to electronic monitoring who wouldn't have been incarcerated in the first place so it's essentially being used as an added addition rather than a substitution. And that because some of these requirements are so rigid, youth are committing minor technical violations of the rules and then cycling in and out of juvenile hall for much longer than they would have been," said co-author of the study and Privacy Fellow at UC Berkeley Law, Christina Koningisor.
The study says low-income families are hurt the most because of the fees that need to be paid while the juvenile is serving their sentence. They also believe that the monitor violates personal privacy. The study suggests waiving all fees associated with the program and simplifying the rules, making it easier for juveniles to understand the requirements.
Monterey County's Chief Probation Officer who told me that unlike Lassen County's 56 rules that go along with electronic monitoring, Monterey County only has 17. She also added ,"The electronic monitoring of offenders is far less restrictive and less traumatizing than the alternative."