Updated:
October 30, 2019

Requiring people to pay for GPS monitors is unconstitutional. We're fighting back.

In Arizona, if a person is accused of a sex offense, the state mandates they wear a GPS monitoring ankle device — pretrial, preconviction. This is unconstitutional. GPS monitoring devices have become more popular around the country as judicial systems look to cut costs of detention. They often come with strict rules and fees. Violations can result in incarceration — which means more people are swept into the mass incarceration funnel.

In Mohave County, AZ, people are forced to pay a for-profit private company, called SCRAM, for their pretrial monitoring device. They are paying simply for being accused of a crime. Again, this is unconstitutional — the Sixth Amendment guarantees you are innocent until proven otherwise. This law is in direct conflict with a core principle of our democracy, and we’re fighting to prove it.

In February, we succeeded in getting the Court to take a couple of our clients off pretrial GPS monitoring. Then we went back to court in May to fight for another client, Mr. Hiskett. He was expected to pay as much as $400 per month for his GPS monitor and he was struggling to afford this. The Court conceded that making him pay for a monitoring device pretrial was illegal — and then jailed him at $100,000 bail instead. On August 22, our lawyers will go to court in Arizona to argue to get rid of the blanket use of GPS monitoring for people who have not been convicted of a crime.

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