Break the Shackles

Angela's Story

Stop companies profiteering from New York families’ pain

Angela's* Story

Angela is a 32-year-old Ghanaian mother of one. She left Ghana because her uncle wanted to force her into an unwanted marriage and was threatening her once she refused. 

Since September 2020, Angela has had a shackle. Her bond was $6,500 and in order to pay it off, Angela borrowed $1,000 from friends and the remaining $5,500 from Libre. The shackle was uncomfortable, heavy, and almost made her fall twice with her baby. Bruises on her ankle. When she first came to the country, her baby was about 5 or 6 months. The baby started crawling and walking and would try to grab the monitor. Wearing a shackle is not only laborious for Angela but constantly makes her feel a sense of shame. She tries her best to not let it phase her, but can feel the stares from people around her and in her community, who probably think of her as a criminal. 

In July of 2021, Libre changed her shackle to the GPS monitoring app. They did not explain much to her with this app, but she did have to go purchase a new phone because the app wouldn’t work with the phone that she was using. Sometimes, she feels like they may be tracking her calls or something. She’s had issues with them calling while they were sleeping and has fears about them tracking her location. She is not sure what the consequences would be of her not sending a photo. 

In the meantime, she is waiting for the slow process to end. She wants to get a job at a restaurant, but it is hard with the baby. Because of the pandemic, her court date has been postponed. Her biggest fear is they will send her back home. 

*Name has been changed to protect the identity of the individual.

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