North Carolina Department of Correction news release

MARCH 16, 1998

State agencies work together to monitor juveniles

Durham - With an electronic monitoring device hidden beneath his sweat pants, a 15 year-old juvenile offender is able to attend his classes at Brogden Middle School, thanks to the Department of Correction.

The black, waterproof ankle box is on loan to the Administrative Office of the Courts, Juvenile Services Division, and is keeping this young man out of costly detention centers.

AOC is renting 100 field monitoring devices for $12 a month each from the Department of Correction compared to the $126 a day a juvenile detention center costs, potentially saving state taxpayers more than a million dollars.

DOC’s Division of Adult Probation and Parole had extra equipment and agreed to monitor the offenders from Juvenile Services. DAPP’s monitoring center currently tracks 1,200 offenders around the clock.

"This is an excellent example of inter-agency cooperation saving manpower and resources," Correction Secretary Mack Jarvis said. "These monitoring devices will help ease the overcrowding at juvenile detention centers and alleviate the sheriff deputies driving children back and forth to court."

Several Probation and Parole employees per shift use a computerized monitoring system to make sure offenders, like the Durham student who was found to be delinquent on drug charges, obeys his curfew. The second an offender breaks the electronic field, the information is sent to a computer in the probation and parole center. If a juvenile offender is in violation, the child’s court counselor is notified.

The Brogden Middle School student knows that if he tries to take his ankle monitor off, he gets sent back to the detention center where the doors are locked and the rules are strict.

In 1997, a total of 269 juveniles completed the juvenile Electronic Monitoring Program for a total of 8,168 days. Of those 269, only 21% went on to detention.

In addition to renting the electronic house arrest equipment and monitoring the juveniles, the Division of Adult Probation and Parole provides drug screening services to Juvenile Services. Last year, more than 2,000 screens were provided to juvenile court counselors.

Future plans for electronic monitoring include a domestic violence project in which victims will be included in monitoring, and the possible use of satellite tracking of offenders.