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This Note challenges the increasingly normalized characterization of ankle monitors as a positive alternative to detention. Although ankle monitors have been subject to some public criticism, advocates on both sides of the aisle have increasingly pointed to ankle monitors as a more humane, cost-effective alternative to detention. In comparison to immigration detention or refoulement, ankle monitors are clearly the lesser evil. Yet this Note argues that the disadvantages of ankle monitors cannot be so easily dismissed. By disentangling the circumstances in which ankle monitors are used, this Note documents the harms that follow these devices across contexts. The Note then argues that meaningful alternatives to detention should not include ankle monitoring. The Note concludes by exploring both legal avenues to resist ankle monitoring and alternatives to detention that do not include ankle monitoring at all.




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