How effective are ankle monitors? A Problem Solvers Investigation

The Problem Solvers are taking a closer look at ankle monitors used to monitor people who go under house arrest.

There were a lot of questions after a juvenile who was wearing one after allegedly committing another crime.

Many times after being released from jail and the court system, electronic ankle bracelets are used to monitor criminal offenders.

But they don’t always tell authorities where people on the run might be.

It was at this home in Jefferson County that detectives say a 15-year-old boy broke into his relatives safe and stole six guns.

That teen was wearing an ankle monitor.

It worked and alerted authorities he had left a secure perimeter.

But, because that monitor had no GPS, the teen could not be found.

Chris Decker is a legal analyst for FOX31.

Decker said, “Theres no one particular factor that a court will look to determine whether or not to use a pre-trial tracking device - a GPS device."

Decker says each case is different and what kind of device is issued depends on the type of crime.

Courts he says have discretion when it comes to how closely defendants are monitored.

There were also questions, after prosecutors asked that a GPS monitor be worn by the suspect in the recent deadly fiery crash on I-70.

District Attorneys alleged Rogel Aguiler Mederos was a flight Risk.

His lawyer Rob Corry said that was not true.

Corry added, “In a case lie this it does not prevent a person from fleeing. You can cut the unit off and flee anyway so it does not have any utility. It is a useless cosmetic shackle."

The court ruled Mederos would not need to wear a bracelet.

And in the case of the teen on the run, he’s been captured.

It’ s not clear if he’ll given the opportunity to wear a bracelet again.

Decker tells us 15 years ago there were not ankle monitors in Denver.

Their styles have changed drastically.

And the laws regulating them vary greatly from county county in Metro Denver.

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