State Orders Electronic Tethers Removed From Parolees Then Changes Mind

There are approximately 4000 people in the state of Michigan that are on parole and wear an electronic tether. The Michigan Department of Correction first made an order to have electronic tethers taken off 3000 of these parolees to only change their minds a short time afterwards. On Monday April 6, 2020 Michigan parole agents were given a verbal order to remove the electronic tethers from their parolees. The following day, this order came in writing and ordered tethers removed for offenders for a whole variety of crimes which included things like home invasion and possibly even homicide. Offenders who had sexual assault and stalking related cases were not affected. This order was short lived however, as the order was retracted on Wednesday, April 8, 2020. While some people had already removed their electronic tethers, many had not done so yet, so the effects of the original order were not strongly felt. Michigan Department of Correction spokesman Chris Gautz said that the original order was made in an effort to try to maximize the department’s resources. Due to the current stay at home order, parole officers are literally watching parolees walk circles inside their own homes. Gautz said that the department deems this time spent by parole agents to not be the best use of their time.

Important Facts About Electronic Tethers

Electronic tethers have been in use with the Michigan Department of Corrections since 1987. Offenders supervised by electronic tethers are watched more closely than other offenders. The technology in these electronic tethers uses both GPS tracking and cellular service to monitor offenders in real time. Those who are on “Curfew Monitoring” have an approved schedule of where they are physically expected to be at different times of the day around their residence. Parole agents have the ability to track and verify if their parolee actually went to required treatment, along with work or school. The Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM) tether is a 24-hour alcohol monitor tether that takes hourly readings of an offenders sweat to determine if he or she had ingested alcohol.

The costs of tethers were an incredible $13 per day with some people being charged as much as $555 per month. Because of these high costs, many offenders are simply unable to afford the fees and don’t end up paying them. New laws that have just been passed have established a new, flat-fee structure when it comes to state supervision. Most offenders will now pay $30 per month for regular supervision. Offenders who have electronic tethers will pay $60 per month, making this option much more affordable for people.

Is An Electronic Tether An Option For My Case?

Due to the current pandemic related to COVID-19, the ability to get an electronic tether as opposed to sitting in a jail or prison has never been greater. As of the first week of April, the Michigan Department of Corrections has reported 305 confirmed cases of COVID-19 among its state prisoners. 128 of these cases have been reported at Parnall Correctional Facility not far from Jackson, MI. Two inmates with the Michigan Department of Corrections have died from COVID-19 as of this writing. If you are looking to have an electronic tether as opposed to jail, then you need a judge to make that order. In order to get in front of a judge, you will have to file a bond motion and convince the judge to allow you on a tether as an alternative to jail.

Any Further Questions?

If you or someone you love is facing an issue related to an electronic tether or a related criminal charge it is important to seek the advice of a qualified criminal defense attorney. At Grabel & Associates we are happy to offer a FREE consultation to anyone who has questions about their case or a loved one’s. Our attorneys have over 100 years of combined experience successfully representing clients facing criminal charges all over the state of Michigan. Feel free to reach out to us on our 24/7 defense line at 1-800-342-7896. You can also contact us online or come visit us at one of our three statewide offices. We can also come to you.

Contact Information