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Is Good-Time Appropriate for Offenders on Electronic Monitoring? Attitudes of Electronic Monitoring Directors

NCJ Number
Journal of Criminal Justice Volume: 28 Issue: 6 Dated: November/December 2000 Pages: 497-506
Brian K. Payne; Randy R. Gainey
Kent B. Joscelyn
Date Published
10 pages
In June 1997, the Virginia State Crime Commission and the Department of Criminal Justice Services mailed surveys to all sheriffs and jail administrators in Virginia to ask about the existence of an electronic monitoring program in each county and about attitudes toward the use of good time for electronically-monitored offenders.
Of 98 surveys mailed, 59 were returned for a response rate of 60.2 percent, and 30 of the 59 respondents said they had an electronic monitoring program. The survey included 23 items focusing on the technology used by the responding agency, the number of offenders in the program, the process of recruiting offenders, the future of electronic monitoring, and the use of good time in electronic monitoring. Most directors of electronic monitoring programs indicated their programs followed written standard operating procedures and most required offenders to pay fees to be on electronic monitoring. In contrast, other measures showed considerable variation in program implementation. Specifically, the number of bracelets owned by the programs, the average number of offenders, and the highest number of offenders at one time varied tremendously across programs. Those supporting good time policies said good time credits should be allowed to maintain program success rates. Those opposing good time policies felt electronic monitoring was sufficient and offenders did not need any additional benefits such as good time. The authors conclude good time policies may be useful for electronic monitoring programs in some situations. 40 references, 5 notes, and 3 tables