Electronic monitoring (EM) programs designed to protect victims of domestic violence (DV) attempt to strengthen offender compliance with court-issued protective orders. This study will evaluate the use, implementation and effectiveness of Global Positioning Systems (GPS) programs aimed at preventing repeat DV in the pretrial/predisposition period, a volatile phase during which women are vulnerable to renewed abuse. The study will first analyze records from five jurisdictions to examine program effectiveness in the short term (pre-adjudication) and long term (post-program release or post-incarceration), Relevant social, behavioral and legally related data will be extracted from administrative records on DV offenders who the courts deemed of sufficiently high risk for a GPS assessment. The comparison groups will be comprised of similar offenders (in terms of risk) assigned to different conditions (GPS, non-GPS) result. In addition to recidivism patterns, the researchers will analyze severity of abuse in repeat violence, examine whether there are group differences in who reported the instant offense and who reports repeat violence in the post-adjudication period, and use court records to assess differences in dismissal/verdict rates. Agency records will also be analyzed for patterns in compliance with program rules, including geo-zone violations. Because agencies differ in various attributes (e.g., passive vs. active GPS), recidivism among GPS enrollees across agencies will also be examined.
Second, an e-mail survey of all agencies in the United States using GPS and RF technologies to address the safety of victims in the post arrest/pretrial period will solicit responses on the relative value of each technology in terms of its protective potentials, costs, accuracy, reliability, versatility, and ease of implementation. Third, the use, implementation and effectiveness of GPS for DV will be addressed through in-depth interviews with representatives of all stakeholders (victims, offenders, justice personnel and victim advocates, as well as vendors and manufacturers.