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Can Electronic Monitoring Make a Difference? An Evaluation of Three Canadian Programs

NCJ Number
Crime & Delinquency Volume: 46 Issue: 1 Dated: January 2000 Pages: 61-75
James Bonta; Suzanne Wallace-Capretta; Jennifer Rooney
Don C. Gibbons
Date Published
15 pages
This study evaluates three Canadian electronic monitoring programs.
Electronic monitoring (EM) is a correctional program promising an alternative to imprisonment. This study compared EM programs that differed in setting (corrections-based vs. court-based) and type of supervision (custodial staff vs. probation officers). The study also compared EM offenders with inmates and probationers matched for offender risk. Type of program was unrelated to program completion or recidivism; EM had a net-widening effect. Type of supervision had some relationship with offender and staff views of the program but, in general, EM added little value to more traditional forms of community control. EM may ensure that offenders complete a period of supervision without incident. Completion rates were high across EM programs even though time on the program varied considerably. However, if the desired outcome of a program is reduced recidivism, EM's merit is questionable. Tables, note, references