Electrical Monitoring Essay
Electronic monitoring is also known as tagging. It allows offenders who may otherwise be imprisoned to be set free but under a curfew. The release is convoyed with restrictions imposed upon the individual’s liberty. In many countries, electronic monitoring sentence is an element of community sentence, where the prisoner is required to stay within set limits and be involved in community service. Electronic monitoring kind of sentence might also be passed in the middle of the prisoner’s term where he/she is released before the end of the term but the prisoner is required to live within some set parameters (GB,P,HC,CPA, 2006).
Electronic Monitoring Working
When a prisoner is under an electronic monitoring sentence, an electronic gadget (radio transmitter) is fitted on the person (majorly on the ankle), and the contractors can with ease monitor the individuals movements. The offender is given a “curfew address,” usually overnight, for twelve hours. The contractor uses electronic equipments to monitor the prisoner’s compliance to the conditions of the curfew.
When the prisoner leaves his/her the judge’s authorized areas, an alert system (visual and audio) shows that the probationer is off the range, immediately, the Electronic Monitoring Command Center responds before the person can go beyond their reach. If the electronic gadget is tampered with (removed, hit or banged), the sensor shows a violation consequently alerting the EM Command Center. In case the probationer breaks out, the judge issues a warrant of arrest (Lucci, 2010).
Uses of Electronic Monitoring
EM is a representation of “high-tech” correction, a great innovation of 1980’s. Electronic monitoring has since then developed to be a major industry (Clear, et al., 2008). Other than being used to monitor offenders who are released on curfew, Electronic monitoring is employed in workplaces to monitor work progress. Though it has brought up issues of employers mistrust of employees and employees demoralization and lose of loyalty to their employers and company, EM has been employed in many organizations to monitor the employees work progress (Weckert, 2005). It is employed for monitoring the work performance of an employee in an organization. In companies, the CCTV surveillance follows all the activities taking place within an organization.
In relation to criminal justice, electronic monitoring is employable in two ways: issuing of curfew orders and issuing of home detention. Curfew orders are issued in conjunction with some other community penalties. Both the curfew orders and home detention are issued to criminals who do not pose a great threat to the larger community such as petty offenders or prisoners who have portrayed good conduct in prisons and have completed the greater part of their sentence.
Offenders considered for EM
Offenders who do not pose a great threat to the larger community are more considered for electronic monitoring kind of sentence. Such offenders may include, people who fought others, pickpockets, offensive drunkards, sexual assaulters, and people who commit any other crime which does not pose a threat to the lives of others (Ardley, 2005). Gun robbers and murders never qualify for this kind of sentence unless they have served the larger part of their sentence.
Advantages and disadvantages of Electronic monitoring
Cost reduction: Becoming a prisoner does not stop an individual from being a human being: Consequently, a prisoner, just like any other person, needs to eat, drink, wear, have a roof over his/her head and be provided with other basic necessities (Ardley, 2005). All these facilities require money. The offended, through payment of revenues are forced to foot the bills of these prisoners. EM sentencing will allow the people to be corrected while catering for their own needs. Such people may continue to work, and be involved in other activities of income generating.
Reduced Congestion: Prisons have an ever-spiraling population consequently causing scarcity of resources. With increase in crime in the society, the number of people tried everyday is so high that if an alternative is not sought, the minimum resources available such as space, food, beddings and other basic needs of existence may be sparsely provided. EM will allow people to continue being under surveillance and consequently corrected which is the main purposes of imprisonment (Ardley, 2005).
Community service: While under an EM sentence, a convict might pay back to the community that he/she wronged. As earlier observed, such punishment may be in conjunction with community service. Such a convict helps in community services that would have otherwise being a cost to the wronged public. In the process, the convict suffers shame which is one of the retribution measures helping him/her to change, to avoid a repetition of such embarrassments. The offender is also enabled to maintain his/her family, work and other stabilities that would have otherwise been messed if the person had been jailed.
One major limitation of this kind of sentencing is that the convict may break away and be out of the reach of the authorities (Ardley, 2005). A prisoner may tamper with the radio transmitter and by the time the police are getting to the scene, the convict to have managed to escape. Such posses a threat to the public as he/she can get back to his/her ills that had led to the arrest and sentencing.
This approach to sentencing can still pose a threat to innocent civilians, especially the offended individual. A prisoner who has been released under curfew before the end the sentence may not be fully reformed and may have held a grudge with the prosecutor through the sentence. Such a person may hunt the prosecutor for vengeance and with the slightest opportunity commit another crime.
Since this sentence is considered soft, criminals may be encouraged to commit more crimes. When the retribution measure does not severely make the person regret for his/her ills, such a person may commit more crimes (Ardley, 2005).