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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149771 Find in a Library
Title: Electronic Monitoring Systems (EMS) in the Pre-Trial Environment: Constitutionality, Cost-Effectiveness, and Other Factors
Author(s): M Gross
Corporate Author: Metro-Dade Dept of Justice Assistance
United States of America
Date Published: 1992
Page Count: 19
Sponsoring Agency: Metro-Dade Dept of Justice Assistance
Miami, FL 33131
National Institute of Justice/
Rockville, MD 20849
NCJRS Photocopy Services
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
Sale Source: National Institute of Justice/
NCJRS paper reproduction
Box 6000, Dept F
Rockville, MD 20849
United States of America

NCJRS Photocopy Services
Box 6000
Rockville, MD 20849-6000
United States of America
Document: PDF
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This examination of the use of electronic monitoring systems (EMS) with pretrial detainees in Florida focuses on EMS goals and applications, its cost-effectiveness, and its constitutionality under Florida statutes.
Abstract: EMS is a technique and mechanism that can verify an offender's location at any given time. Through this technology, local authorities can impose a wide range of restrictions on an offender. Recently, EMS has been used for pretrial management of defendants. Since the wristlet or anklet used in EMS can be broken or torn off, EMS cannot eliminate flight nor ensure appearance at trial. The screening of participants is therefore crucial to its effectiveness. To date, Federal or State appellate courts have received few constitutional challenges to EMS programs; however, most legal scholars believe that the constitutionality of EMS at the postconviction stage is strongly defensible; whereas, it is vulnerable and weak during the pretrial period. This belief is based primarily on the concept of diminished rights. Because pretrial defendants have not been adjudicated, their rights are substantially greater than those of postconviction participants. Before the application of EMS may be considered, the court must first determine whether the defendant has the constitutional right to bail. Only after the right to bail has been determined may the courts consider the imposition of EMS as a condition of bail, unless EMS is accepted voluntarily by the defendant. In addition to helping maintain correctional populations at federally mandated levels, effective pretrial EMS programs must combine ensuring a defendant's appearance at trial, the individual's constitutional right to bail, and the maintenance of public safety. This study concludes that the application of EMS technology to pretrial defendants can be an effective management tool for a judge, as well as a benefit to both the participants and the community.
Main Term(s): Corrections policies
Index Term(s): Electronic monitoring of offenders; Florida; House arrest; Intermediate sanctions; Pretrial detention
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