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Cook County Courts to Study Use of Electronic Monitoring

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The Cook County Circuit Court will look into the safety and effectiveness of electronic monitoring.

The announcement from Chief Judge Timothy Evans came less than two hours after Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart blasted the courts for not taking advantage of electronic monitoring. Evans says the court will pursue an independent study to evaluate the effects of tracking technologies on public safety.

Dart says judges could utilize electronic monitoring now, but he says they’ve been hesitant.

DART: We have a handful of judges who are doing a very good job buying into the concept, but the vast majority, 80, 90 percent of the judges throughout Cook County, are not utilizing electronic monitoring, even though they’re allowed to do it.

Dart says 341 people are currently being monitored electronically. But the county could put the ankle bracelet monitors on as many as 1,500 detainees. The sheriff says electronic monitoring saves the county about $75 per detainee each day.

In a written release, Evans says research on electronic monitoring is “weak.” But he says the limited studies done are “very promising.”

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