Ankle monitors alternative for juvenile offenders

Published: Aug. 8, 2019 at 6:16 PM CDT
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Lauderdale County is forced to send youth offenders to detention centers in other parts of the state because it does not have its own juvenile detention facility. That can be expensive.

In fact, it can cost up to $350 a night to send a youth offender to a facility outside the county.

Two local youth court judges say using ankle monitors would save money and would keep juveniles from being incarcerated.

"To send a child to detention should never be our first alternative," said Youth Court Judge Lisa Howell.

Howell and fellow Youth Court Judge Veldore Young-Graham went before the board of supervisors Thursday to request additional money to buy more monitors.

"We'll know where they are and we can restrict where they're going," Judge Howell said. "That keeps them safe and the community safe but the child remains with us."

District 5 Supervisor Kyle Rutledge says the board will do its best to accommodate the request, to save money and keep children at home.

"If that's what they think is best, that's what we'll support them on," said Rutledge.

Howell said monitors can cost anywhere from $3 to $13.