Shoals county tackles jail overcrowding with GPS device - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Shoals county tackles jail overcrowding with GPS device

by: Stephanie Hoffler
WAFF 48 News Reporter
shoffler@waff.com

A Shoals county has seen a significant rise in inmates.

Now a high-tech device may be the solution to jail overcrowding.

Starting this month, the community corrections program in Franklin County will be using GPS ankle bracelets on inmates who require tracking.    

With the added security of the system, more inmates could be referred to this program.

Meaning, if they meet the criteria they could be tracked from home instead of being sent to jail.

Community Corrections is a diversion program for non-violent inmates, an alternative to jail and a chance to modify their behavior.

To keep track of these inmates, community corrections monitors them by using curfew checks, telephone calls, and going by the home to check on the inmates.

The program will continue all of these surveillance tactics, but soon the bracelets will provide 24 hour 7 day a week tracking providing a solution to jail overcrowding in the county.  

Executive Director of Franklin County Community Corrections Eugene Pierce says,"With new programs like these crime is not going to stop but best bet is to slow it down some and you've got to have something to do with it. I mean the states and counties can't keep building new jails and it's just too expensive."  

UAI, a leading surveillance company out of Huntsville, will be providing the bracelets.

Community Corrections will start training on how to use the system June 14th.

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