Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2007, $281,977)
In the wake of multiple federal and state-level legislative actions in 2005, there will be a considerable increase in the use of electronic monitoring (EM) devices for sex offenders living in the community, and a parallel increase in the use of EM with not only low risk but moderate to high risk sex offenders. This research will provide empirical evidence of the effectiveness of EM in reducing the likelihood of recidivism and absconding for moderate to high-risk offenders on community supervision and to answer the important questions of how and why EM "works" and at what cost to public safety and public coffers. Both qualitative and quantitative research methods will be employed to evaluate the policies and processes related to EM that are currently in place in Florida; the effectiveness of EM in reducing recidivism, absconding, and technical violations; whether there are long term reductions in re-offending after offenders are no longer under EM; and the cost-effectiveness of using electronic surveillance as an alternative or supplement to incarceration. This research will have broad implications for correctional policies and will be valuable to practitioners who are currently operating EM programs and those designing new programs to make their processes more effective and efficient.