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Electronic Monitoring, Satellite Tracking, and the New Punitiveness in England and Wales (From New Punitiveness: Trends, Theories, Perspectives, P 167-185, 2005, John Pratt, David Brown, et al., eds. -- See NCJ-210217)

NCJ Number
Mike Nellis
Date Published
19 pages
This paper explores and explains the significance of the electronic monitoring of offenders as it has developed in England and Wales and as it reflects the shift towards increased punishment in these countries.
Electronic monitoring (EM) entails the use of radio-frequency or landline telephone technology to know remotely but in real time whether tagged offenders abide by the conditions of court-imposed curfews. Satellite tracking, using Global Positioning System (GPS) is currently running nine EM programs in England and Wales. Within the sociology of punishment, EM has been understood as part of an actuarial, risk-oriented, managerial approach to crime control. This paper is concerned with the deeper sociological reasons for the emergence of EM. It suggests that the advent of satellite tracking helps to shed light on the growth of EM more generally which allows for tentative judgments to be made about EM’s relationship to the new punitiveness and its place in the future of corrections. It is likely that the punitive weight of EM will eventually be increased. The toughening of EM may entail a lengthening of curfew hours, a lengthening of the period subject to EM, or visibly humiliating tags. References