Philadelphia jails face shortage of ankle monitors

    There are just over 70 inmates who are qualified for home confinement still in the city jail system, because there aren’t enough of the ankle bracelets to send them home.

    Some people currently in custody in Philadelphia could be headed for home monitoring by the end of the week. A lack of equipment means some who should be on house arrest are still in jail.

    There are just over 70 inmates who are qualified for home confinement still in the city jail system, because there aren’t enough of the ankle bracelets to send them home.

    Dave Lawrence is administrator for the First Judicial District. He says the city has authorized the acquisition of 100 new monitoring systems.

    “It’s a way to keep the prison population in a somewhat manageable area,” says Lawrence. “As long as there are appropriate candidates for electronic monitoring, it’s in our best interest to put them on electronic monitoring to ease the prison population.”

    Deputy Mayor Everitt Gillison says he’s struggling with the city budget crisis and will lease more equipment for now.

    “I am actually looking at dollars I have been able to hold onto for various contract opportunities in public safety,” says Gillison. “I am looking to see if I can repurpose those dollars to handle this emergency going forward.”

    Court officials say they can have the equipment shipped overnight and could have at least some of those waiting for house arrest out by the weekend.

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