Ankle monitor(l+r), Woman looking confused(c)


‘Wait I have to pay for my own prison?’: Woman says ankle monitor costs her $400 a month

‘I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.’


Stacy Fernandez


Ankle bracelets are supposed to be a better alternative than having people sit in jail, but the device can easily cost people thousands of dollars that they can’t afford.

In a viral video, Mallory Bell (@mallorybell82), who is seen wearing an ankle bracelet, shares that she pays $400 for the device that she’s had on for eight months already.

That’s $3,200 and counting.

“If you were thinking about getting that bitch, don’t do it,” Bell says. “Look how big these f*ckers are, you don’t want one of these. I’m telling you that.”

In a stitch, creator Rynn (@rynnconstellation) was just as surprised as many people. While they initially questioned it, they added, “I guess I shouldn’t be surprised.” In the caption, Rynn said they thought that since the state issued them, it was free of charge to those wearing them.

Bell’s video has well over 2 million views and more than 3,700 comments. She has several videos showing the reality of living with the monitor, including how she showers with it, how she puts on socks under it, and her partying with it on.

“Wait wait wait hol up they make you PAY to be on house arrest?!” a person wrote.

“I assume they just gave them to you I didn’t realize you had to pay $400 for that. That’s a car payment a nice car payment,” a commenter said.

“Wait I have to pay for my own prison,” another chimed in.

@mallorybell82 #fyp #fypシ #viraltiktok #fypシ゚viral #viralvideo #viralvideos #explore #explorepage #exploremore #trend #trending #trendy #viral #anklemonitor #dontdoit #thinktwice #expensive ♬ original sound – Rachel 🤘🏻

Several states use ankle bracelets as an alternative to the cash bail system that requires people to deposit a large sum of money for their pre-trial release from jail. This is meant to help ease the class injustice of poor people being forced to stay in jail while people with financial means get out.

In New York State, for example, the average bail set for a misdemeanor case is $1,000, and $5,000 for a felony case. About 63% of employed people in the United States, well over the majority, can’t afford a $500 emergency expense—let alone thousands of dollars in bail money.

While ankle monitors are meant to be a better alternative for people charged with low-level and nonviolent offenses, they often have to cover the cost of the device.

Settting it up costs $50, and then it’s about $14 for daily maintenance. In a month, a person with an ankle monitor could easily pay over $400 or even about $1,000 in a place like San Francisco.

@rynnconstellation #stitch with @Mallorybell88 ♬ original sound – Rynnstar’s Spam

Depending on the suspected crime and where the person lives, getting to trial and jury could take months or years. Those are months and years that people are paying the monthly ankle monitor fee.

“For many defendants, who cannot even afford to post a $1000 cash bail, the cost to have an ankle bracelet is too much. Even worse, if the defendant fails to keep up with the costs, they will end up detained in jail, with no opportunity to pay bail either,” the Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development wrote.

The organization suggests that to create less economic injustice, states should be the ones covering the costs of ankle monitors, especially since it costs less to taxpayers than maintaining a defendant in jail in pre-trial detention.

The Daily Dot reached out to Bell for comment via Instagram direct message.

The Daily Dot