The Marshall Project

Adolescence with an Ankle Bracelet

Juveniles can spend years tethered to GPS monitoring for minor violations.

At his South San Francisco middle school, Christopher, then 13, did something he believed was mean and stupid but ultimately inconsequential: He grabbed a girl’s butt in the hallway. The girl, who was 14, told her mother, who in turn contacted the police. Christopher was soon charged with sexual battery, and after spending more than a month in juvenile hall, he took a plea deal of 90 days of probation with GPS monitoring, which meant he had to wear an ankle bracelet.

But Christopher’s probation kept getting extended whenever he violated

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