The Role That Electronic Tagging

3259 WordsJan 5, 201514 Pages
This essay seeks to evaluate the role that electronic tagging can play in crime prevention, both in terms of it’s potential to reduce crime, and it’s implications for rights and liberties. Firstly this essay will give a brief history of how electronic tagging was implemented, it’s application and for what purposes it is used. It will discuss whether it has been a useful contribution as a method of situational crime prevention; by means of a deterrence, lower re-offending rates, increased public safety, cost affective, the use of multi disciplinary agencies, and how well this method has been implemented, managed and controlled. Or, whether it has had an adverse effect on society, by failing to reduce crime, and wasting public funds. This…show more content…
In England and Wales, during the 1980’s “tracking” and “electronic monitoring” became the forefront of policy maker’s agenda to tackle young, “low risk” offenders released from prison, or as an alternative community order for those who potentially may have been subject to a custodial sentence. Electronic monitoring can be defined as “a system of home confinement aimed at monitoring and controlling and modifying the behaviour of defendants or offenders” (Prisoners Reform Trust, 1997, as cited in Ardley, 2005), and was introduced by the Criminal Justice Act, 1991 (HMI Probation, 2012). Electronic monitoring was founded upon the notion of “tracking” offenders movements, then expanded to include curfew tagging, which involves confining offenders to their homes, (Nellis, 2004) and came into practice in the U.K in 1995 (Ardley, 2005). Foremost, electronic monitoring was developed with the goal that it would provide a more cost effective solution to custodial sentences, thus reducing the prison population, with no added risk to the public. To diminish the risk of “learnt criminal behaviour through communication” through offenders mixing with other offenders in custody, as identified by Sutherland’s Differential Association Theory (Newburn, 2009), and attempting to reduce stigma and disruption to family life (Ardley, 2005). Electronic monitoring relies on the notion that surveillance and control in the communities would restrict an offender’s power and opportunity
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