Electronic Monitoring California

Electronic Monitoring Reduces Recidivism Electronic Monitoring Reduces Recidivism ?

Most California criminal courts seek ways to relieve overcrowding in jails while maintaining control of criminal behavior. Criminal courts offer a wide range of alternative sentencing options for some people – rather than incarceration – while they attempt to ensure public safety.

Courts are increasingly willing to consider House Arrest-  Electronic Monitoring as an alternative sentencing method. Contrary to what some believe, electronic monitoring and House Arrest provide benefits to the community and the family of the person incarcerated. These benefits far outweigh a jail consequence. When properly administered, House Arrest electronic monitoring provides the following benefits:

  • Reduced cost of incarceration
  • The ability to tailor consequences to the individual
  • An opportunity for the individual to contribute to society
  • A mechanism to hold violators immediately accountable
  • Can be effective in lieu of bail or help to lower bail amounts


So how does  Electronic Monitoring Reduce Recidivism.

Below is an excerpt from an article published by the  U.S. Department of Justice – Office of Justice Programs
National Institute of JusticeLink https://www.ncjrs.gov/pdffiles1/nij/234460.pdf

Electronic Monitoring Reduces Recidivism

A large NIJ-funded study of Florida offenders placed on electronic monitoring found that monitoring significantly reduces the likelihood of failure under community supervision. The decline in the risk of failure is about 31 percent compared with offenders placed on other forms of community supervision. Researchers from Florida State University’s Center for Criminology and Public Policy Research compared the experiences of more than 5,000 medium- and high-risk offenders who were monitored electronically to more than 266,000 offenders not placed on monitoring over a six-year period. The researchers worked with the Florida Department of Corrections to secure approval, obtain administrative data, and gain help in contacting local probation offices for interviews.

The researchers interviewed offenders, probation officers, supervisors, and administrators to uncover insights into the electronic monitoring process.
Increasing Use of ElectronIc MonItorIng States now uses electronic monitoring in a wide variety of settings, such as a pretrial supervision alternative to jail, an alternative to imprisonment for some offenders, and a mandated supervision requirement for some felons released from prison. Some states now mandate electronic monitoring for released sex offenders.

More than 5 million offenders in the United States are under some form of community supervision, according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. Electronic monitoring may increase over time as states seek less expensive alternatives to imprisonment. The cost of imprisonment is about six times higher than the cost of electronic monitoring.1 Florida has used electronic monitoring of released felons for decades, mostly on higher risk offenders. The first home confinement program that used electronic monitoring started in Florida’s Palm Beach County in 1984. At the end of June 2009, the state had 143,191 offenders on supervision, including 2,392 under electronic monitoring. To assess the impact of electronic monitoring, researchers gathered information on people under supervision between June 1, 2001, and June 30, 2007.

Using Florida’s risk classifications, the research focused on medium- and high-risk offenders. The sample included 5,034 medium- and high-risk offenders on electronic monitoring and 266,991 offenders who were not placed on electronic monitoring. In addition, the researchers interviewed 105 offenders. Offenders were selected for interviews using convenience sampling. Visits were made to geographically strategic probation offices throughout Florida during reporting week for offenders. Probation officers referred offenders to the researchers in a private room to receive an explanation of the study, consent process and interview. The interviewed sample included mostly medium- and high-risk offenders. Of this group, 97 percent were under electronic monitoring; the rest had been on monitoring devices before the interview. The researchers also interviewed 36 probation officers who oversee such offenders and 20 administrators who oversee the program.


Overall findings

The quantitative analysis showed significant decreases in the failure rate for all groups of offenders, and the decreases were similar for all age groups.
More specifically, the analysis showed that: n Electronic monitoring reduces offenders’ risk of failure by 31 percent.

 Electronic monitoring based on Global Positioning Systems (GPS) typically has more of an effect on reducing failure to comply than radio
frequency (RF) systems.  Electronic monitoring had less of an impact on violent offenders than on sex, property, drug and other types of offenders. However, the effect remains statistically significant.

The qualitative analysis revealed various perceptions about electronic monitoring. For administrators, the primary goals of the electronic monitoring program are to ensure that offenders comply with the terms of their supervision, track offenders, reduce recidivism, and protect the public. Overall, administrators say that although electronic monitoring has achieved these goals, they also see ways to improve the system. In addition, they see monitoring as a tool that
helps probation officers do their jobs, not as a replacement for personal contact with offenders.

Sometimes the offenders and officers voiced different opinions. For example, 85 percent of offenders said electronic monitoring does not affect the likelihood that they would abscond. In contrast, 58 percent of officers thought electronic monitoring made it less likely that an offender would abscond.

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