Understanding How House Arrest Monitoring Happens - Buznew.com


Understanding How House Arrest Monitoring Happens

By James Wagner

the use of incarceration as the primary method of punishing offenders is shifting. Cheaper alternatives like house arrest are being opted for, especially in nations that experience high prison populations. Advancements in technology have made house arrest monitoring a much easier process as opposed to when it presented the biggest challenge. Today, law enforcement officers have an easier time tracking the movements of offenders in the society on parole or under other diversion programs. All tracking is done in the safety and comfort of a precinct.

Many electronic devices have been invented to monitor the movement of offenders until they have successfully completed their punishment. The devices are used on adults as well as juveniles. The efficiency of electronic devices used to monitor the movement of offenders placed under house arrest is very high today. They indicate where the offender is located at any specific time. Geographical violations can be tracked throughout.

One example of an electronic house arrest monitor is called an ankle monitor. This device is also called a tether or an ankle bracelet. It is a small homing device that individuals on parole or under home arrest are required to wear at all times. The device transmits a radio frequency signal to a receiver indicating information about its location and other kinds of information.

When the individual moves outside a specific geographical range, a radio frequency signal is transmitted to the receiver indicating the violation. The receiver is usually a computer located in the facilities of a law enforcement agency or a contractor contracted by the government to offer monitoring services. Ankle monitors are designed in a away as to make them tamper proof. This implies that a signal is transmitted to the receiver if the wearer makes any attempts to remove them.

The radio frequency signal sent from the device to a computer uses a land-line or cellular network. The signal comes in form of a message. Other devices that are closely related to ankle monitors are also available, especially ones that use GPS. GPS-based devices require wearers to have cell phones for transmission of signals. Some units have both functions incorporated in the ankle unit.

The invention of electronic monitoring was made in the 1960s by a small team of Harvard University researchers. The first judicially sanctioned application of the technology happened in New Mexico in 1983. Michael Goss was responsible for all the production at that time. After six years from that time, there were six recognized commercial producers. In 2006, there was a total of 130 000 units in deployment in the United States.

Uncertainty exists in the level of effectiveness of electronic monitoring devices in crime reduction. This is the case due to the fact that parole violators are always preparing to commit more serious crimes. The main reason why the devices were adopted was to deter criminal behavior. However, research has indicated that this strategy is not different from other diversion programs.

The devices are made water proof to avoid being damaged by water. They are usually small enough to avoid causing inconveniences when undertaking daily activities like sleeping. They are mostly made with a black casing.

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