The Differences between Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring, Pre-Trial Services Electronic Monitoring, and G.P.S.

Pissetzky & Berliner

Now more than ever, courts are adding some type of electronic monitoring as a condition of bond. Though Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring, Pre-trial Electronic Monitoring, and Global Position System Monitoring all seem to be the same type of bond condition, they have significant differences.

The Cook County Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring Program

The Cook County Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring Program, also referred to as Sheriff’s EM, or EHM, is a pre-trial bond condition created to ease overcrowding at the Cook County Jail. Instead of denying you bond, a court can impose Sheriff’s Electronic Monitoring as a bond condition. If imposed, you will be fitted with an ankle bracelet that you will be required to wear 24 hours a day. A Home Monitoring Receiving Unit, HMRU, will also be installed at your home. HMRU will inform the Monitoring Center when you leave and enter the home and if you tamper with the equipment.

If you are placed on EM, you will be ordered to remain in your home for 24/7 for the entirety of your case. You may qualify to leave your home to go to work, attend school, participate in job skills programs, or meet with your attorney. There are 2 ways to get permissions to leave your home: 1. Ask your lawyer to file a motion with the court, and 2. Request permission directly from the Sheriff’s EM Department. Importantly, even if the court enters such an order, that does not mean you are automatically allowed leave your home. Instead, you must send in a Request for Movement to the Sheriff’s EM Department that includes the court Order. You cannot leave your home unless and until the Sheriff’s EM Department grants your movement request.

The Cook County Sheriff’s EM department is notoriously difficult to deal with, and it rejects requests that do not include court orders detailing the specific address you will be going to, the exact time you will leave your home, and the exact time you will return. The Sheriffs are also known to violate those who return home even a few minutes after the time stated on the movement request. If you return home late or leave your home without permission, the Sheriffs will come to your home, arrest you, and take you to the Cook County Jail. You will not be released from custody unless the court, after a new Bond Hearing, reinstates your bond and EM condition.

Though the program is burdensome, being placed on Sherriff’s EM carries an incredible benefit. Under Illinois law, you shall receive credit for all time spent serving home detention with Sherriff’s EM. 730 ILCS 5/5-4.5-100(b). Put more simply, the amount of time you will serve in prison is reduced by the amount of time you spent on EM. For instance, if you are found guilty and the court sentences you to 3 years in prison, but you were on Sheriff’s EM for 2 years while your case worked its way through the system, you only have to serve 1 year in prison.

Pre-trial Services EM

Pre-trial Services EM is very similar to the Cook County Sheriff’s EM, but with one important distinction. Because your detention is not being monitored by the Cook County Sheriffs, you might not receive any credit for the days spent in home detention. Depending on who your judge is, the judge might or might not count pre-trial services EM as credit, so it is important to check with your lawyer.

Another difference is that Pre-Trial Services EM is monitored by the Coo County Pre-Trial Services Department. Getting movement permission from the per-trial department is much easier than from the Sheriff’s EM department. Pre-Trial is less likely to violate you immediately, and the pre-trial officers are very nice as long as you are nice to them.

G.P.S Monitoring

G.P.S. is very different from both Sheriff’s and Pre-Trial’s EHM. The condition is generally imposed if you are charged with a domestic or sex offense. If imposed, social services will affix a monitoring device to your ankle and an exclusionary zone would be established around all protected addresses –generally the complaining witness’ home and place of work.

Your location will be monitored 24 hours a day. Instead of being required to stay in your home for the entirety of your case, you will be ordered stay 2,500 feet from the exclusionary zone and complaining witness. If you enter the exclusionary zone, social services will be notified and will contact local law enforcement who will investigate. If you violate the terms of the program you may be arrested for violating your bond and taken into custody. Importantly, just like Pre-trial Services EM, you will not receive any custody credit for the period you are G.P.S. monitoring.

At times, a judge might order a person to be on both GPS monitoring and EM monitoring. In that case, the person will have to wear 2 ankle bracelets and abide by the rules for each device.

In you or a loved one has any questions about the EMH or GPS devices, please contact our experienced lawyers at Pissetzky Law LLC.