About Project

Challenging E-Carceration is jointly hosted by the Center for Media Justice and the Urbana-Champaign Independent Media Center (UCIMC). James Kilgore is the project director. He has received a Soros Justice Fellowship for 2017-18 to develop this project.

Challenging E-Carceration aims to change the conversation and policy concerning electronic monitoring and surveillance in the criminal legal system.

In recent years mass incarceration has come under considerable criticism and been the focus of political mobilization from many quarters.  But what is the alternative?

Will we merely exchange concrete and steel cages for devices like electronic monitors which convert homes in poor communities into jails?

Will we allow the state and corporations to use technology to restrict our movement and record massive amounts of information about our lives?

Challenging E-Carceration says no.

Challenging E-Carceration will use research, media, policy development and popular mobilization to  limit the use of monitors and ensure that when monitors are used, the rights of those on monitors and their loved ones are respected. We will mobilize those impacted by mass incarceration and E-carceration, community activists, experts and those interested in social justice to curb the excesses of E-Carceration and advocate for real alternatives to incarceration-alternatives that challenge the criminalization of the poor, the degradation of Black, brown and Native populations,  and allocate resources to communities, not to punishment.

This project will:

  • Build a national coalition dedicated to reducing the use of electronic monitoring and ensuring that the rights of those on monitors are respected
  • Develop a set of guidelines for monitors that center the rights of those on the monitors and their loved ones.
  • Conduct  research that centers the voices of people who have been on monitors and their loved ones
  • Highlight practices and policies that respect the rights of those on electronic monitors
  • Uncover and resist the ways in which electronic monitors mete out special punishment to people of color and track Black bodies
  • Promote alternatives to incarceration that support individual and community development rather than punishment
  • Expose the ways in which electronic monitors contribute to building a surveillance state