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Comparing Ankle Monitors vs Smartphone Mobile Supervision

In the evolving landscape of criminal justice, the shift towards more humane and efficient monitoring methods is paramount. Ankle monitors, once a groundbreaking development, are now being reconsidered as mobile supervision technology matures. 

In this article, we will delve into the numerous advantages of smartphone monitoring as an ankle monitor alternative, exploring how it is a game-changer in reducing jail overcrowding, aiding jurisdictions implementing bail reform measures, and offering a more flexible and user-friendly approach to electronic monitoring.

1. Mobility and Comfort

Ankle Monitors:

  • Restrictive and often uncomfortable
  • Can cause skin irritations and other physical issues
  • Visible and stigmatizing - 

Smartphone Monitoring:

  • RePath offers a discreet, mobile solution
  • Users can carry on with daily activities with ease
  • Promotes a sense of normalcy and dignity

2. Cost-Effectiveness and Resource Allocation

Ankle Monitors:

  • Can cost $10-15/day, often passed on to the end user. Missing a payment may result in rearrest
  • Expensive to maintain and monitor
  • Requires substantial investment in equipment and personnel

Smartphone Monitoring:

  • Can reduce electronic monitoring costs by 90% or more
  • Uses technology that most people already own
  • Reduces the need for physical resources and manpower
  • Allows for funds to be reallocated to other essential areas

3. Advanced Technology and Reliability

Ankle Monitors:

  • Can be susceptible to damage and malfunction
  • Limited in their range of functionalities
  • Some only provide monthly reports on location and violations, rather than in real time

Smartphone Monitoring:

  • Leverages GPS and biometric technology
  • Offers a wider array of features, including communication tools and court reminders
  • Automates many aspects of case officer’s responsibilities, making them more efficient
  • Provides reliable, real-time data to authorities

4. Promoting Reintegration and Positive Outcomes

Ankle Monitors:

  • Often viewed negatively, affecting job prospects and social interactions
  • Can hinder reintegration into society

Smartphone Monitoring:

  • Supports users in their reintegration journey
  • Includes tools for behavioral therapy and personal development
  • Encourages accountability and positive change

5. Flexibility and Ease of Use

Ankle Monitors:

  • Requires professional installation and removal
  • Can be cumbersome to wear and manage
  • Charging requires user to be tethered to a wall

Smartphone Monitoring:

  • RePath is user-friendly and easy to set up
  • Allows for anything from purely sending court reminders, to 24/7 location tracking and biometric checkins, depending on individual needs
  • Ensures users can effectively manage their responsibilities

6. Contributing to Jail Reform and Bail Reform

Ankle Monitors:

  • Cost and availability limit how much ankle monitors can impact jail overcrowding
  • Limited impact on the broader goals of criminal justice reform

Smartphone Monitoring:

  • Can scale exponentially to serve entire pre-trial, probation, and parole populations
  • Maintains accountability and visibility
  • Supports a fairer, more equitable criminal justice system

Why Orleans Parish Moved to RePath

Courts across the country are choosing RePath to overcome the challenges with other monitoring solutions. Here’s the story of a juvenile court that recently chose to implement RePath about the challenges they were facing with ankle monitors:

Ankle monitor alternative RePath
Watch the entire story.

How Missouri Reinvented Their Pre-Trial Release Program With RePath

Missouri adopted RePath as an option for pre-trial mobile supervision within the last few years. Some counties enroll all released defendants in the program while others use it on a case-by-case basis. The results speak for themselves:

Embracing the Future of Mobile Supervision

The transition from ankle monitors to advanced smartphone monitoring solutions like RePath represents a significant leap forward in offender management and criminal justice reform. By offering a user-friendly, cost-effective, and reliable alternative, RePath is helping to reduce jail overcrowding, support bail reform, and promote positive reintegration outcomes.

Discover the future of electronic monitoring with RePath. Schedule a demo today to see how courts across the United States are benefiting from our innovative mobile supervision solution, and take the first step towards a more efficient, and reform-oriented criminal justice system.


Help people navigate the criminal justice system

The RePath App electronically assists individuals through the criminal justice process. Agencies can choose from multiple supervision levels dependent on their specific needs.