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Questions surround ankle monitor shortage

Brittany Costello
July 17, 2017 07:03 AM

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – They’re a way to keep track of suspects without keeping them in orange jumpsuits and shackles.

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GPS ankle monitors are administered by pretrial services, and are recommended for various types of criminals to ensure the safety of their alleged victims.

But just last week, when a judge ordered the release of Justin Hansen, the suspect in a 2008 cold case that left a then-high school student severely injured, KOB has learned there may be a problem with the supply of those monitors – it’s cut short.

Hansen, accused of nearly beating Brittani Marcell to death, was released to pretrial services, meaning he would get out of jail without bond so long as he follows a certain set of rules, including being monitored by a GPS ankle tracker.

Almost a week later, Hansen is still in jail.

The potential reason? Because there aren’t enough ankle monitors to keep up with the city’s crime crisis.

While Hansen is still behind bars, a KOB photojournalist was in court when one judge actually altered the release conditions of a different criminal suspect, conditions that allowed them out without a monitor.

So, KOB wanted to know: How many monitors are in circulation? How much do they cost? Has the court ever run out of them before? What is the procedure for judges when an ankle monitor isn’t available?

Instead of answers, KOB received a statement saying: “Bernalillo County is aware that there may be a need for additional units, and is committed to ensuring the Pretrial Services Division has adequate resources.”

Chief Judge Nan Nash goes on to say, “The court will continue to order defendants to pretrial services in a manner that ensures public safety.”

Credits

Brittany Costello

Copyright 2017 KOB-TV LLC, a Hubbard Broadcasting Company. All rights reserved

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