The Journal of Offender Monitoring, the longest-standing publication dedicated solely to electronic supervision technologies and practices, took an in-depth review of legal cases involving electronic supervision technology this month, and the overview provides a glimpse of how far the industry has come in more than two decades.
Editor Peggy Conway wrote:
“When EM was first introduced, supervising agencies, private monitoring centers, and even equipment makers feared that courts might hold them legally accountable if an offender committed a crime while under EM supervision. That fear has largely been laid to rest….”
In fact, the editors and the articles in this issue reflect an industry that is thriving because technology has advanced, best practices have solidified, and correctional agencies have become comfortable with electronic supervision as a important “tool” in the agency’s toolbox of community supervision strategies.
The recently published special issue of Journal of Offender Monitoring includes a review of almost 30 cases, selected by the editors for their variety of issues related to electronic supervision. Cases will continue to appear in courts nationwide to test the validity of new and advanced systems, such as continuous alcohol monitoring and GPS tracking, but as we are seeing consistently in the field, the use of electronic supervision technologies has become the norm in the last decade as agencies seek additional help in managing offender supervision and community safety.