Philly City Courts asking for money for GPS ankle bracelets

A person wearing an ankle monitor. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo, file)

A person wearing an ankle monitor. (Rich Pedroncelli/AP Photo, file)

The First Judicial District — the Philadelphia court system —  wants to move into the modern era of home confinement with GPS-equipped ankle monitors. 

Judge Shiela Woods Skipper says the Philly courts want to spend about $1 million to purchase 175 GPS-equipped monitors.  That would mean people will no longer need a landline telephone at home to qualify for house arrest.

“To take advantage of the new technology and to help with the overcrowding in our prisons.  So we think this is a better way to keep up with technology and to assist in the justice process,” she said.

Skipper says home confinement saves the city a lot compared to locking someone in a detention center and has other benefits.

“These individuals would not have to be taken into the prison, they would be allowed to remain out of custody under strict supervision with the gps unit,” she said, “This would allow placement of more more serious offenders who are committing more serious crimes to be placed into custody without having the overcrowding issue.”

City council is considering the budget request.

Want a digest of WHYY’s programs, events & stories? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.

Help us get to 100% of our membership goal to support the reporters covering our region, the producers bringing you great local programs and the educators who teach all our children.