Are Ankle Monitors Expensive?

Imagine being tethered to an unseen guard, a constant reminder of your steps echoing back to law enforcement. This is the reality for thousands of people on probation or parole who are required to wear ankle monitors. But as we delve into this world of electronic monitoring, one question keeps rearing its head – Are Ankle Monitors Expensive? 

Yes, ankle monitors can be expensive, often costing the wearer or the supervising agency several dollars per day, which can add up significantly over time. The cost includes the device itself and the monitoring service fees.

Are Ankle Monitors Expensive?

Are Ankle Monitors Expensive?

Ankle monitors can vary in price depending on various factors. Generally, the cost of ankle monitors can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars. Factors that can influence the cost include the type and brand of the monitor, the technology used, and any additional features or services provided. 

Additionally, there may also be monthly fees associated with the use of ankle monitors. It is important to consider these costs when evaluating the overall expense of ankle monitoring.

Initial Costs

Purchasing the Device

Some types of ankle monitors cost between $100 to $200, but the price can go up depending on features like GPS.

Setup Fee

There’s often an initial setup fee, which can range from $50 to $100.

Recurring Costs

Daily Fees

Most monitoring programs charge a daily fee. This can be anywhere from $5 to $25 per day.

he Cost of Ankle Monitors - A Financial Overview

Maintenance Fees

Some programs might have weekly or monthly maintenance fees in addition to daily charges.

Who Pays?

Offender Pays

In many cases, the person wearing the monitor is responsible for the cost.

State Coverage

In some situations, the state might cover the costs, usually for those who can’t afford it.

Additional Costs

Replacing Lost or Damaged Units

If the unit is lost or damaged, you could be on the hook for replacement costs, which can be hefty.

Software and Reporting Fees

Some programs require additional fees for software and reporting features.


John’s Scenario

John, a fictional character, was required to wear a GPS ankle monitor for 30 days. His daily fee was $10, adding up to $300 for the month.

Sarah’s Scenario

Sarah, another fictional character, had her costs covered by the state due to financial hardship.

What Factors Influence the Price?

Type of Monitoring

GPS monitoring is generally more expensive than simpler RF (Radio Frequency) monitoring.


Longer monitoring periods naturally result in higher costs.


Ankle monitors come with a variety of costs, ranging from initial setup fees to daily charges. The person wearing the monitor usually bears the financial burden, although there are cases where the state steps in. Understanding the potential expenses can help you prepare for this often mandatory part of legal proceedings.

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