Electronic home-monitoring of some defendants will resume in Charleston County in July, after a 21-month absence, giving more people a chance to work and avoid sitting behind bars while awaiting trial.
The monitoring program was suspended in 2012 after a number of lapses, including a murder defendant who went unmonitored for 12 days because his device ran out of battery power and no one notified authorities. Monitoring at the time was handled by bail bondsmen, but now a private company and the Charleston County Sheriff's Department will be in charge.
"The bail bondsmen are out of the electronic monitoring business," Chief Administrative Circuit Judge Roger Young said Wednesday during a demonstration of the system at the county jail.
Georgia-based Offender Management Services and local deputies will monitor defendants wearing the ankle-bracelet devices, which report locations every two minutes via global positioning satellites.
If a monitored person goes somewhere they aren't supposed to be, or tampers with the monitor, deputies should know immediately. Under the old system, it was up to a bail bondsman to report the problem.
"There should be no way a guy can get around us," said Sheriff's Department Field Training Instructor Robert Harvey Jr. "This is a high-level system."
Defendants who wear the ankle bracelets as a condition of bond will pay about $275 a month to cover the county's cost.
Reach David Slade at 937-5552