Criminology and Criminal Justice Volume: 8 Issue: 1 Dated: February 2008 Pages: 51-71
This article examines the impact of electronic monitored curfew orders on offenders offending and desistance.
It is suggested that curfew orders reduce offending in some cases and that they have the potential to contribute to desistance. Additionally, curfew orders add something distinctive to the repertoire of community sentences. Curfew orders are identified as having a positive impact on the social capital held by offenders. Curfew orders appear to be particularly useful in enabling offenders to reduce antisocial capital, that is, their links with situations, people, places, and networks that are correlated with their offending. They provide offenders with the opportunity to disengage with their offending lifestyle. For some offenders, curfew orders led to conditions which may enhance pro-social capital such as strengthening prosocial community ties by enabling offenders to spend more time with their families and children and starting work or becoming more ‘job ready’. Curfew orders can also have negative impacts on prosocial capital particularly by disrupting employment and family ties and responsibilities. It is concluded that curfew orders have the potential to play a positive and distinctive role in supporting desistance and complement work undertaken as part of the new community order. Curfew orders require offenders to stay at a particular address during specified times. An advantage to curfew orders is their flexibility. Curfew times may be set to take into account patterns of offending. This research studied offenders subject to Radio Frequency (RF) tagging which monitors curfews using Personal Identification Devices (tags) usually attached to offenders’ ankles. The offenders in this study were adults who had been sentenced to ‘stand alone’ curfew orders, which are not linked directly to community sentences. Data were collected on the experiences and attitudes of offenders in relation to their curfew orders and the working practices of monitoring officers based in two cities in the north of England in 2005. References
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