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Electronic Monitoring Reduces Recidivism

NCJ Number
Date Published
October 2010
2 pages
Publication Series
This article from the December 2010 edition of Corrections Today discusses the results of a study that examined the ability of electronic monitoring to reduce recidivism rates among recently released offenders.
Highlights from the study on electronic monitoring ability to reduce recidivism include the following: global positioning systems (GPS) were more effective at reducing recidivism than were radio frequency (RF) systems; electronic monitoring reduced recidivism more among sex, property, drug, and other types of offenders than among violent offenders; and most administrators believed that electronic monitoring achieved the primary goals of ensuring offender compliance to the terms of their supervision, tracking offenders, reducing recidivism, and protecting the public. The study also found that both probation officers and offenders believed that electronic monitoring had a negative effect on offenders’ personal relationships with their spouse, children, and friends, and while the visibility of the electronic monitoring system made it more difficult for offenders to find and keep jobs it did not affect their ability to find housing. This study examined the effectiveness of electronic monitoring at reducing recidivism rates among recently released offenders. Data for the study were obtained from two sources: comparison of the experiences of more than 5,000 medium- and high-risk offenders who were electronically monitored with the experiences of more than 266,000 offenders not placed on monitoring during a 6-year period, and administrative data and interviews with local probation officers in the State of Florida. The findings indicate that both offenders and administrators believe that electronic monitoring can result in lower rates of recidivism among offenders but the current monitoring system needs improvements. Recommendations for improving the system are discussed. 1 endnote

Date Published: October 1, 2010