Diversion

  • Guest Blog: The Myth of the Electronic Monitor (12/12/2018)

    By James Kilgore, co-director of FirstFollowers Reentry Program


    The first time I saw an electronic ankle monitor was 2009. Unfortunately, it was on my own leg. After six and a half years in prison, I figured this little band of plastic wasn’t going to be much of a hindrance. Wrong.

    For my first week of “freedom,” I was only allowed out of the house Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. I didn’t feel too free. The more I kept looking at my ankle, the more questions I had. They told me the device only tracked my location, but how was I to know it wasn’t listening to my conversations? When I went to sleep at night, I kept having visions that my parole officer was lying across the foot of my bed looking up at me. I knew he wasn’t there, but the vision wouldn’t go away.

    I ended up spending a year on this device. Eventually I adjusted (sort of) but I never stopped asking questions. I had to give my parole officer a list of all my movements two weeks in advance, specifying time and place. Any deviations from the list and I could be back watching my incarcerated brothers slamming dominoes in the prison day room. No spontaneous walks around the block to get some fresh air, no midnight pizza runs. How much sense did that make? I had done my time in prison, why should I have to do more time in my living room? (more…)


11/14/2018

Veterans Courts and the Heroic Imagination

In the summer of 1940, Chiune Sugihara, a Japanese diplomat based in Lithuania, made a critical decision. Jewish refugees and other Polish citizens had come to […]
05/02/2018

Step Up to Remove People with Mental Illnesses from Jails

56-year-old veteran Jerome Murdough was arrested for sleeping in the stairwell of a Harlem public housing project on a cold winter night. Murdough, who had been […]
04/04/2018

We Can’t Arrest Our Way Out of the Opioid Crisis

When you read about our nation’s opioid crisis and law enforcement’s response to it, you will first confront a host of shocking statistics that try to […]
02/06/2018

No More Missing Lego Pieces: Pre-Arrest Diversion and Pretrial Justice

Guest Blog by Jac Charlier, National Director for Justice Initiatives, TASC As a kid I loved playing with Legos. The way they felt and sounded when I […]
06/28/2017

Justice Through Empowerment

The following first appeared as a guest post on Facing Addiction’s blog, News and Updates: When I met Greg Williams, he shared with me his personal […]
03/20/2017

Facing Addiction: Pretrial Justice is Important to Addressing the Substance Use Crisis

Guest blog by Michael King, Director of Outreach & Engagement, Facing Addiction The so-called War on Drugs, now in its fourth decade, has cost over $1 trillion […]
04/26/2016

To Better Address Reentry, Restrict Entry

The Department of Justice has designated April 24-30 as National Reentry Week. Attorney General Loretta Lynch has asked all U.S. Attorneys to host a reentry event, […]
06/24/2015

They Shouldn’t Be There

By Spike Bradford, editor-in-chief of the Pretrial Justice Institute Late last year I traveled with photographer David Y. Lee to interview and photograph pretrial defendants in […]