False Alarm

I just found this video online. A reporter documented a mock week of house arrest. She wore what appears to be the same ankle bracelet that I have on my ankle this year, or, at least, a similar one. The fake terms of her house arrest are slightly different from mine, but, nonetheless, this is an interesting example of what house arrest can be like.

This video shows one late-night example of how the GPS equipment can generate false locations, which leads to alerts, if the error occurs during a time when the offender is not approved to be away from home. Alerts can also lead to prosecuting the offender, based on evidence that he or she was out of bounds. Thus, a probation violation that could have serious consequences may occur. Sometimes, I fear, even when the alert came from false GPS information. I find it very troubling that this happens. My GPS bracelet has recently generated a cacophony of false alerts and wildly inaccurate GPS locations, usually when I’ve been not only at home, but asleep in my bed. A few weeks ago, my PO told me that he had an alert that claimed that I’d wandered into a GPS point in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.

Recently, there have been alerts that have suggested that I have left my apartment in the early hours of the morning, for an hour or so, and ventured down local streets. I have never, even once, left my apartment without prior notice or approval. I never would. Especially when I am barely two months away from freedom! My annoyance at these alerts has escalated into deep concern. I didn’t pay them much mind until today, when it was brought to my attention that, despite the fact that I have never acted in violation, enough alerts have come through the system that the monitoring company is considering moving forward on violating me in court. I have already submitted a request to my apartment manager for the surveillance tapes, which would prove that I never left my apartment. I was also told today that the monitoring company would be very willing to testify against me in court, if they choose to move on a violation.

As you can imagine, this is very distressing for me. I have zero control over any faulty equipment. That said, my equipment has been changed multiple times, and the alerts still happen. I don’t know why. I don’t know what to do, because I can’t control when there is a false alert. All I can control is whether or not I break any rules, which I haven’t. If it comes down to me presenting surveillance videos and getting my lawyer involved, then I’ll have no choice but to go along with it and pay the costly legal bills, yet again.

I sympathize with the probation officers, knowing that it is their job to rely on the information that comes from the equipment that they are paid to trust. I really do. But, this isn’t my job. It is my life, and it’s scary to know that it could be seriously affected by something that I have zero control over.

65 days to go.