Choosing the Best GPS Tracking Device Instead of Incarceration: A Guide


If you pay attention to politics, you’ve probably heard the term “over-incarceration.” This term suggests that the US imprisons too many people and must find alternative ways to prevent criminals from committing crimes. 

Many states and municipalities have found alternatives to imprisoning people, especially first-time offenders. One of the most common solutions is using a GPS monitoring device.

This tracking device is often given to people on parole to help parole officers track their movements. This way, they can verify where a parolee has been and what times they were there. 

Finding the best GPS tracking device can save several people trouble. A defendant’s family members can use the device to keep track of their loved one’s whereabouts. Probation officers can tail their cases to keep them secure. 

So, how can you find the best GPS tracking system? If that’s what you want, don’t worry! We’ll give you some tips for finding a GPS tracking device you can trust.

How a Tracking Device Works

Before we discuss how to choose the best tracking device, let’s take a second to explore how they work. The technology behind these ankle bracelets is relatively straightforward. 

First, the tracking device fits around the parolee or house arrest prisoner’s ankle. Then, the device emits a GPS signal that law enforcement can use to track the person’s whereabouts. 

Removing an ankle bracelet causes the device to trigger an alarm. If this happens, police officers will show up at the defendant’s home to arrest them. 

As with other technologies, ankle bracelets have continued to evolve since their initial use. Now, several ankle bracelet models can read diagnostics on a person. For example, these devices can read a person’s blood-alcohol level and trigger an alarm if it passes a certain point. 

Police officers can also program exclusionary areas into the device’s GPS network. These zones dictate places where the defendant is not allowed to enter. If they violate this order, the GPS triggers an alarm to arrest them. 

As you can see, these devices can help officers and others keep tabs on where a defendant goes. Criminologists recommend these devices for non-violent offenders to prevent them from committing further crimes. 

Criticisms of GPS Monitoring and How to Avoid Them

Every technological device has its skeptics, and a GPS tracking device is no different. There are four common criticisms that people lodge against GPS tracking devices:

  1. Incorrect data
  2. Batteries can die 
  3. No allowance for emergencies
  4. Don’t know who owns data or who can access it

First, there’s the threat of incorrect data. Sometimes, defendants claim that the machine transmitted incorrect information about their whereabouts. This fact could mean they received longer jail sentences for bad reasons. 

Second, batteries can die in a tracking device. However, when this happens, it triggers an alarm so police can arrest the defendant. So long as the defendant takes care of the bracelet, this shouldn’t be an issue. 

Third, people claim that these devices don’t allow for emergencies. For example, the defendant may become hospitalized outside the bracelet’s limit. However, police can often use discretion in these cases. 

Finally, there’s concern about data privacy. GPS tracking data is accessible to law enforcement agencies and other departments at the federal and state levels. But, it’s uncertain who owns this data.

Fortunately, most high-quality ankle bracelet devices can avoid the problems listed here. So, we’ll explore what types of ankle bracelets are best in the next section.

Finding the Best GPS Tracking Device

There are three different types of ankle monitors that a defendant can use. These include:

  • Radio Frequency (RF) 
  • Global Positioning System (GPS)
  • Secure Continuous Remote Alcohol Monitoring (SCRAM)

Choosing the best monitor for a defendant depends on the details of their case. What is it that these people need monitoring for?

Generally, a radio frequency monitor is the most popular type for house arrest cases. This monitor can detect an ankle device from 50 ft. to 150 ft. In other words, it’s the perfect choice for short-range surveillance. 

Sometimes, courts may elect to use these monitors for minors or offenders kept under a curfew. This way, police and family members can know immediately if this person gets out of reach from their radio frequency signal.

GPS trackers offer a less severe route for defendants. These devices, although cumbersome, allow offenders to live normal lives. They can continue to go to the grocery store, gym, coffeehouse, etc. 

However, this device can also establish zones for the offender not to enter. For example, a GPS tracker can trigger an alarm if a sex offender comes too close to a school. 

Finally, there’s the SCRAM monitor. We’ve mentioned these monitors previously as the kind that can measure blood-alcohol levels in the wearer’s body.

Police often use these monitors to ensure somebody caught driving under the influence doesn’t get drunk and drive. This way, the offender can avoid receiving a second charge. 

How Much Does the Best GPS Tracking Device Cost?

Generally, ankle monitors cost offenders or investigated persons between $10-$40 daily. This person also becomes responsible for paying the one-time installation price. Typically, this figure falls between $50-$100. 

Depending on how long a defendant must wear the ankle monitor, these costs can remain low. For example, a defendant who needs the monitor for one month may only pay $300. 

However, many people must wear these bracelets for several years. In these instances, the best bracelets may cost thousands of dollars. 

Find the Best GPS Tracking Device Today!

Once you understand what type of tracking device you need, it’s time to find the best model. The trouble is many providers claim to have the best GPS tracking device. How can you find the one that’s right for your case?

If that’s what you’re wondering, consider shopping with us! We provide GPS ankle monitoring devices for law enforcement agencies, court officials, bail bond agents, and others. 

We understand how critical it is for these people to have trackers they can trust. That’s why we strive to offer the best quality on the market. Check out our inventory today to find the bracelet you need!

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