U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

Electronic Supervision: From Decision-Making to Implementation

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This article describes electronic supervision technology and offers advice on choosing the technology best suited to an agency’s needs.
Electronic supervision technology allows corrections practitioners to remotely gather information about defendants and offenders in the community. Before selecting this type of technology, it is important to understand the types of electronic surveillance devices on the market and how they work so agencies can select the device that most fits into their needs and correctional vision. The report describes some of the many electronic surveillance technologies in use by community corrections agencies, including automated reporting systems, identification verification systems, remote alcohol detection systems, and ignition interlock devices that lock vehicle ignitions if offenders register a certain blood alcohol content, measured through an integrated breathalyzer device. Other technologies described include victim alert/notification systems that are used to monitor offender compliance with stay-away orders, field monitoring devices that allow drive-by units to quickly locate within 800 feet any offenders with ankle or wrist transmitters, and global positioning systems that keep track of offenders who are fitted with ankle or wrist transmitters. Finally, the report underscores the importance of having clear goals for any electronic monitoring program.

Date Published: January 1, 2002