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Model Programs Guide Literature Review: Home Confinement and Electronic Monitoring

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2014
6 pages
Based on a literature review, this study examined the features of juvenile home confinement and electronic monitoring (EM), the target population for such interventions, their advantages and disadvantages, and evaluation evidence for their effectiveness.
Home confinement or house arrest for juveniles, with and without EM, is an intermediate community corrections program used to restrict the activities of juvenile offenders in the community. Under home confinement, juvenile offenders are required to be at home either during specified times or at all times. EM, which is often used for monitoring compliance with home-detention conditions, enables enforcement of home confinement through the electronic determination of the location of the offender at various times. EM encompasses a wide range of systems and components, including home monitoring devices, wrist bracelets, ankle bracelets, field monitoring devices, alcohol and drug testing devices, voice verification systems, and global positioning systems. Proponents of the use of home confinement and EM prefer it to detention and incarceration because of the financial savings, decreased recidivism, and the ability to monitor offenders' locations. The greatest disadvantage of home confinement and EM cited in this report is the potential discrimination against indigent families, because many communities require the juvenile and his/her family to pay for the EM device and associated fees. Based on research that has examined the impact of home confinement and EM on recidivism, they consistently result in low recidivism rates for both adults and juveniles when used as a pretrial intervention or post-adjudication sentence; however, it is unclear whether it is more effective than close supervision. The study's overall conclusion is that home confinement and EM are viable alternatives in a graduated system, because they are cost-effective in minimizing recidivism. 19 references

Date Published: October 1, 2014