Monday, July 4, 2022


July 4th: an opportunity to examine the state of U.S. Democracy in places like MT; disturbing bodycam video of a fatal police shooting in Ohio; ripple effects from SCOTUS environmental ruling.


The Biden administration works to ensure abortion access, Liz Cheney says Jan 6th committee could call for criminal charges against Trump, and extreme heat and a worker shortage dampens firework shows.


From flying saucers to bologna: America's summer festivals kick off, rural hospitals warn they do not have the necessities to respond in the post-Roe scramble, advocates work to counter voter suppression, and campaigns encourage midterm voting in Indian Country.

Pandemic Leads to Increased House Arrests, Electronic Monitoring


Wednesday, July 29, 2020   

PORTLAND, Ore. -- House arrest might seem like a good alternative to incarceration, especially during a pandemic, but it comes with its own costs.

Ankle shackles are outfitted for electronic monitoring, which concerns advocates for people who are detained. Babatunde Azubuike, programs coordinator for the Portland-based organization Freedom to Thrive, said technology like this can be a Trojan horse.

"It looks really nice on the outside and really great," Azubuike said. "But when you open it up and get inside, it's white supremacy, it's capitalism and patriarchy, and state control."

Azubuike said some law enforcement agencies are using the pandemic as justification to expand this kind of incarceration. Freedom to Thrive, along with the Queer Detainee Empowerment Project, Media Justice and the YaYa Network, are jointly hosting a webinar today (Wednesday) at noon (Pacific Time), to educate people about the use of electronic monitoring.

A Pew study found about 125,000 people were supervised with electronic devices in 2015, up 140% from a decade earlier.

Azubuike pointed out there are penalties people might not think about when choosing house arrest over incarceration, such as paying for the monitor, which can cost up to $400 a month.

"If you miss those payments, you're out of compliance and then, that can be cause for you to go right back into jail or prison," Azubuike said. "It puts you in this position where, again, people are being penalized for being poor."

Azubuike said decisions on electronic monitoring and how it's implemented happen on the local level.

"I think the best way to push back is to definitely get involved in a lot of these budget fights around how the police budgets are spent, and where your local money is going for these technologies," Azubuike added.

Disclosure: Freedom to Thrive contributes to our fund for reporting on Criminal Justice, Immigrant Issues, LGBTQIA Issues, and Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.

get more stories like this via email
The United States celebrates Independence Day while Congress investigates the January 6th attack on the U.S. Capitol. (Bob/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This July 4th marks nearly 250 years since the United States declared its independence, setting the country on a path to establishing its democracy…

Social Issues

It's July 4th, a celebration of the United States' independence. It's also an opportunity to take a look at the state of the country's democracy…

Social Issues

July 4th celebrates the founding of the United States' democracy - and some say it's time to recommit to defending that democracy. In the wake of …

While most classrooms are empty right now, lingering concerns from the previous school year, such as the pandemic's effect on students and staff, are being dissected ahead of next year. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Research is emerging about the secondary trauma school staff members face after helping students during the pandemic. As summer moves forward…

Health and Wellness

A Florida judge plans to put a hold on the state's new, 15-week abortion ban, set to take effect today. He said it is unconstitutional and will issue …

Social Issues

Three projects in Idaho have been selected to receive grants from the AARP Community Challenge. Among them is the Anne Frank Human Rights Memorial in …


Montanans get a sense of what soil health is like on farms and ranches across the state with Northern Plains Resource Council's soil crawls. The …


Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021