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Effects of Early Release From Prison Using Electronic Tagging in Sweden

NCJ Number
Journal of Experimental Criminology Volume: 5 Issue: 1 Dated: March 2009 Pages: 41-61
Date Published
March 2009
21 pages

This article presents findings from a Swedish evaluation of the use of electronic monitoring as an early release program, focusing on the final period of a prison sentence.


Study results indicated that the early release group reoffended to a significantly lesser extent than the control group. However, it was not possible to state to what extent this was a result of the electronic monitoring (EM) in the home or of the other elements included in the program. The best results in relation to the level of reoffending were recorded among slightly older individuals (over 37 years of age) and among those who had previously been convicted on one to two occasions. Electronic monitoring in the home by means of an ankle bracelet has become an increasingly important component in the penal system throughout Europe. The majority have some form of back door program, referred to as back door electronic monitoring (EMB), which involves the use of EM in connection with the release of the inmate at the end of the prison term. Very few evaluations of the effects of EM on reoffending have been carried out, and the few that have been published, have not shown any positive or negative effects on the level of reoffending in comparison with a prison term. This study evaluated a Swedish EM program which focused on the final period of a prison sentence (the EMB). The study consisted of the first 260 individuals to participate in an early release program that included EM in the home. Figure, tables, and references

Date Published: March 1, 2009