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Keeping Track of Electronic Monitoring

NCJ Number
Date Published
2 pages
This article discusses electronic monitoring (EM) as a feature in the supervision of offenders in the community who might otherwise have been sentenced to incarceration.

Much of the content of this article consists of quotes from an interview with Garry Pate, a corrections specialist with the National Law Enforcement and Corrections Technology Center (NLECTC) and author of an upcoming NLECTC information bulletin on EM systems. Pate advises that electronic monitoring is a viable alternative to incarceration for offenders who are on regular probation; on pretrial status; on parole; or nearing the end of a minor drug, alcohol, or misdemeanor sentence. In some jurisdictions, violent offenders who are nearing their prison release date may be eligible for an EM program. Pate believes a properly administered EM program can be an inexpensive, community friendly program for the management of low-risk offenders. Pate indicates that the forthcoming NLECTC electronic monitoring information bulletin offers in-depth information on current and imminent home monitoring devices, system components, buy/lease factors and options, and recommendations for establishing an EM program. The bulletin will also list common EM terms and acronyms and Federal citations that grant authority for the implementation of an EM program. In addressing the public's fear that offenders will not adhere to EM parameters, Pate notes that such incidents are rare, and approximately 75 percent are caught within 24 hours. Studies show that EM programs on average respond to an unauthorized absence within 20 minutes. Overall, EM is a cost-effective means of reducing jail and prison overcrowding.

Date Published: January 1, 1999