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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 99616 Find in a Library
Title: Electronic Monitoring of Probationers - A Step Toward Big Brother?
Journal: Golden Gate University Law Review  Volume:14  Issue:2  Dated:(Summer 1984)  Pages:431-446
Author(s): J M Houk
Date Published: 1984
Format: Article
Annotation: This discussion of electronic surveillance as a method of monitoring probationers describes a pilot project in New Mexico for supervising drunk driving or white-collar offenders, reviews fourth amendment and postconviction rights, and examines whether such a monitoring program is valid under Federal and State laws.
Abstract: The article explains the GOSSlink system manufactured by National Incarceration Monitor and Control Services (NIMCOS) and used by New Mexico. This system involves a transmitter strapped to the ankle of the person sentenced to home curfew or house arrest, a receiver in the probationer's home to detect the presence or absence of the transmitter signal, and a computer in the probation office. Since courts have upheld that preconviction uses of electronic surveillance do not invade privacy interests, it is likely that they will uphold some application of electronic surveillance in the postconviction context. Although courts have not analyzed the use of electronic devices to monitor individuals released into the community, a review of cases that challenged onerous probation conditions concludes that courts may recognize that probationers retain an expectation of privacy which might preclude electronic surveillance when such monitoring fails to satisfy a security interest or fails to rehabilitate or deter criminal conduct. Although the NIMCOS system may achieve Federal probation goals in a few individual cases, by itself it does not promote public safety or rehabilitation and thus should not be used exclusively as a cost-saving measure. The article includes 79 footnotes.
Index Term(s): Electronic surveillance; New Mexico; Probationers; Probationers rights
Note: 16,,US,EN,,02
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