Key Resources

Key Resources:

This page lists key reports and analysis of electronic monitoring and related issues. In addition, we also are compiling a more comprehensive Bibliography on Electronic Monitoring which you can find here. We are grateful to JustLeadershipUSA for doing the research to compile the bibliography. As you will see the bibliography is a work in progress but even in its present form it far exceeds any other available resource on electronic monitoring.

1. Electronic Monitoring Is Not the Answer: Critical Reflections on a Flawed Solution

Report by James Kilgore that argues that monitors are not an alternative to incarceration but an alternative FORM of incarceration. Includes a list of recommended policy changes.

2.  E-Carceration: The Problematic World of Being On An Electronic Monitor

Alternet posting by James Kilgore which highlights the electronic monitoring experience of people on parole, those awaiting trial, immigrants, and juveniles.

3. Recommendations for the Use of Electronic Monitoring

This document, developed by the Council of Europe’s  Probation’s Electronic Monitoring working group and adopted by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in 2014, represents the most comprehensive, human rights-based set of recommendations for the use of EM to date.

4. Welcome to America-Here’s Your Electronic Shackle

This posting from the Village Voice examines the superexploitation of immigrants placed in detention centers while they await judgment, only to be bailed out by Libre, a company that recoups their bail money by placing them on an electronic monitor which comes with hefty daily user fees. Failure to keep up with the daily fees can land the individual back inside. This is a classic case of profiteering via EM.

5. Black America’s State of Surveillance

Center for Media Justice Director Malkia Cyril outlines how surveillance has been and remains a key component of the oppression of Black people in the United States.

6. Wearing An Electronic Monitoring Device Might Be Worse Than Jail Time

This piece explores the use of electronic monitoring on juveniles and draws heavily on the research of Kate Weisburd of the East Bay Community Law Clinic in Berkeley, California.  It explores the ways in which EM is not compatible with the developmental processes of juveniles and sets up unrealistic expectations which often end up with incarceration.

7. Pew Charitable Trust Research Report

This includes the first ever survey of the number of devices in use. It is part of a longer term research project on electronic monitoring.

8.  Electronic Monitoring of Youth in the California Juvenile Justice System

Published by the East Bay Community Law Center and the Samuelson Clinic of the UC Berkeley Law School, this is the result of research in all 58 counties of California. It highlights the ways in which electronic monitoring regimes are often especially punitive and unnecessary for juveniles.

9. Old Wine in New Bottles-Electronic Monitoring in the Age of Decarceration

This slideshow by Rebecca Brown of Reentry Solutions Group offers a comprehensive critique of EM as an alternative to incarceration. 

10. Model  State Legislation for Electronic Monitoring-Illinois 2017

This bill was introduced into the Illinois state legislature in 2017. It was referred to committee but did not secure enough votes in committee to get onto the floor. Nonetheless, it stands out as a model of legislation for electronic monitoring by incorporating the notion of rights for people on the monitor and banning all user fees. IL EM Bill

The state legislator who sponsored the bill also facilitated the development of a fact sheet for the bill.

11. Texas Department of Criminal Justice Electronic Monitoring Policy

This document, unlike virtually all EM policy, provides some very specific recommendations in terms of the purposes for which a person may be granted movement. This document goes as far as to allow 8 hour visits to family members houses on 10 national holidays as well as permitting movement for “daily living needs” which include shopping, banking, haircuts and attending funerals. Policy and Operating Procedure 3.15.1

12. England College of Policing Global Report on EM

This is a comprehensive overview of research in English on EM worldwide, focusing on studies that specifically aim to measure the effectiveness of EM in reducing recidivism. The overall conclusion offers nothing significant about the impact of electronic monitoring but the bibliography and discussion of various research documents offers perhaps the broadest overview yet of the research on the topic. Perhaps the most remarkable thing about this report is the generally low quality of research and research methodology across the board.  Clearly this study shows that there is no clear cut body of evidence that makes the case for the effectiveness of electronic monitoring. Find report here.