New Orleans has a long and complicated history with electronic monitoring providers. The city’s sheriff was running the EM program in 2016 when he suddenly halted the operation, arguing that he was not receiving enough money to cover costs. The program shut down for a few weeks, then was handed over to A2i, a local company.
While most jurisdictions secure an EM contract with one company, New Orleans compiles a list of approved vendors, and judges can assign a particular person accused in their court to a specific EM company. Reporters and advocates alleged that Judge Paul Bonin used this arrangement to his advantage, steering people in his court to a company called ETOH Monitoring, owned by one of his major campaign contributors. Though no charges were ever brought against Bonin, the free-market style operation of electronic monitoring contracts increases opportunities for corruption.