- The tribulations of Pretrial EM in Baltimore:This Real News Network short documentary voices the problems of people on EM in Baltimore.
In 2017 the Maryland Court of Appeals ruled that people could not be held in jail because they can’t afford bail. However, part of the criminal legal system’s response was to put people on electronic monitoring with high fees. This had similar effects to imposing cash bail in the first place, a way of continuing the “legacy of mass incarceration.” During COVID the courts in Baltimore have released some people from jails in order to reduce their exposure to the virus. But, with fees of almost $400 per month for the monitor, payments became a genuine hardship for people like Irvin Haygood. The closure of the courts in 2020 due to COVID delayed his court case, but he had to keep paying the fees for the monitor. He ended up accepting an undesirable plea bargain because the fees were exhausting all his resources. This video from the Real News Network depicts the situation in Baltimore.