HOUSTON, Miss. (WCBI)- Becky Johnson and her sister Linda own Silly Whispers in Houston. Since opening two years ago, they’re never had a problem with crime.
“We don’t have the breaking into the cars or the stealing of purchases or coming in for shop lifters or that type of thing,” said Johnson.
Shoplifting and break-ins have dropped in Houston thanks to the ankle monitoring system. If a juvenile commits a crime, a judge could require them to wear it up to 2 years. Offenders wear it 24/7; to school and even in the shower.Investigator Robert Ivy monitors everything from his desk.
“It actually shows the street, I can even pull up the color of the house and where the house is located and tell you where the person is. I can even go back 5 hours, 24 hours or even 36 hours for a couple of days. If an incident happened where a person thinks there was someone who actually broke in or stole something that particular day,” said Investigator Ivy.
It also helps the city save money.
” Before we got the ankle bracelets, if a juvenile did anything and the judge sees fit, it actually costs the county $100 a day. The monitor ankle bracelets costs $5 a day. So you’re looking at $5 a day compared to $100, which is a great success on that end for the city and county and even the parents,” said Investigator Ivy.
Parents get the heftier end of the bill. For instance, if a child wears the bracelets for just 2 months, parents are assessed $600.
“I would hope it would send a message to parents to be more involved in their students activities. Aware of where they’re going and who they’re hanging out with. We would want them to take those efforts in youth court to avoid having to get to that next step,” said Elizabeth Ausbern, Prosecuting Attorney for Chickasaw County.
Becky thinks it’s a great tool and a second chance at life for children who sometimes make bad decisions.
” It would give a new future for some of the people who feel like they have to go out and steal something. We are very thankful for the police department and what they’ve done to help us,” said Johnson.
The Houston Board of Alderman came up with the idea, looking for ways to deter crime.