Since there are few rigorous empirical analyses regarding the effectiveness and collateral consequences of electronic monitoring in pretrial probationary supervision, the current study conducted a process and impact assessment of the use of pretrial probationary supervision that uses GPS monitoring.
Working with the Massachusetts Probation Service (MPS), this study used an official, record-based dataset for persons on pretrial probation in 2014 and interview data from eight persons on pretrial probation in the winter of 2018. The study analyzed who was assigned to GPS, how rates and timing of rearraignment (a proxy for rearrest) varied for those monitored compared to those who were not monitored, the factors that influenced rearraignment, and how those on pretrial probation viewed the sanction. The findings indicate that although GPS can incapacitate individuals during monitoring, it may not provide lasting deterrence and may contribute to adverse collateral consequences for individuals, particularly in their employment. The findings suggest that policymakers assess the assignment and use of pretrial probation and GPS, focusing on the integration of pretrial risk assessments, how GPS monitoring can be used most effectively in the pretrial period, and the length of pretrial supervision. 14 tables, 15 figures, 118 references, and appended interview protocol