skip navigation


Register for Latest Research

Stay Informed
Register with NCJRS to receive NCJRS's biweekly e-newsletter JUSTINFO and additional periodic emails from NCJRS and the NCJRS federal sponsors that highlight the latest research published or sponsored by the Office of Justice Programs.

NCJRS Abstract

The document referenced below is part of the NCJRS Virtual Library collection. To conduct further searches of the collection, visit the Virtual Library. See the Obtain Documents page for direction on how to access resources online, via mail, through interlibrary loans, or in a local library.


NCJ Number: 220681 Find in a Library
Title: Practice Limitations and Positive Potential of Electronic Monitoring
Journal: Corrections Compendium  Volume:32  Issue:5  Dated:September/October 2007  Pages:6-8,40,42
Author(s): Robert S. Gable; Kirkland R. Gable
Date Published: September 2007
Page Count: 6
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article examines the practical and typical limitations of the electronic monitoring technology and its use with criminal offenders and the challenges faced by correctional agencies in addressing these limitations.
Abstract: In recent years, the primary argument for adopting electronic monitoring (EM) has been to relieve prison crowding while simultaneously reducing criminal justice system costs. In addition to reducing prison crowding, the increased surveillance that EM provides to pretrial, probation, or parole programs can be expected to have a crime-deterrent effect. The most common configuration of offender monitoring is a radio frequency transmitter unit attached to the offender’s ankle. In light of elected officials’ eagerness to solve persistent issues of prison crowding and public safety, correctional agencies have the responsibility to be clear about typical limitations of EM technology. This article examines the practical and operational challenges of EM. Some of these identified challenges include: (1) the overwhelming quantity of data produced by active GPS causing information overload; (2) EM vendors are not required to meet performance standards or demonstrate the effectiveness of their product; and (3) EM programs unnecessarily limit their effectiveness if they rely solely on punishment as a primary strategy of rehabilitation. Given the unrealistic expectation that surveillance and sanctions, such as the use of EM, will reduce long-term recidivism, a prudent response of monitoring agencies would be to initiate small, exploratory EM programs using positive incentives. The intent for correctional agencies is to make slow, incremental changes in the nature of supervision contacts that will lead to the development of a legally defensible, effective, and evidence-based EM practice. Table, endnotes, and references
Main Term(s): Electronic monitoring of offenders
Index Term(s): Alternatives to institutionalization; Electronic surveillance; Pretrial electronic monitoring; Science and Technology
To cite this abstract, use the following link:

*A link to the full-text document is provided whenever possible. For documents not available online, a link to the publisher's website is provided. Tell us how you use the NCJRS Library and Abstracts Database - send us your feedback.