Term Paper: Electronic Monitoring Devices in Corrections

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Electronic Monitoring Devices in Corrections

Electronic Monitoring Devices

Types of Electronic Monitoring Devices (EMDs)

Electronic Monitoring Devices -- EMDs are devices for electronic monitoring on criminals and other groups that are suspected to be involved in any illegal activity, inclusive of defendants who are under trail on conditional release and offenders who have already been convicted on probation or parole. Technically, Electronic Monitoring -- EM is a generic term which covers a broad spectrum of systems and its components. A lot of players dominate the industry, each offering a series of choices covering home monitoring devices, field monitoring devices, wrist and ankle bracelets, voice verification system and alcohol testing devices. There are either active or passive EM systems. The active ones are by far the most popular and dependable, under which the transmitter sends a continuous sign to the Home Monitoring Device -- HMD. ("Keeping track of Electronic Monitoring," 1999)

The HMD cautions the central monitoring center, in case the offender travels beyond the range area. In a passive system, the offender normally is required to talk to a case official over telephone or place the transmitter into that of the HMD to corroborate his attendance. The active systems locate the location of an offender on a continuous basis. Among the latest ones use technologies available under global positioning system -- GPS to observe the offender round the clock in any location whatsoever. Each has their own relative advantages and disadvantages. 'Voice Verification systems' regarded as passive forms of systems need an 'offender' to reply to a home-based phone creating 'electronic voice prints' which finds out if the voice of an offender during a routine verification telephone call tallies with that during enrollment in programs. An additional 'passive system' needs the offender to exhale into a device at home for detecting the presence of alcohol in his blood. ("Keeping track of Electronic Monitoring," 1999)

EM's are embedded with several system parts which engage in interactions to assess the offenders. These are (i) Home Monitoring Devices: -- HMDs: When the offender remains under house arrest, a HMD is installed in his home for use with a transmitter which he keeps hooked to his person always. The HMD operates with the telephone line and jack Besides, it is equipped to show tampering and absence of electricity, retention of memory such that it is able to report all of the messages that are saved on restoration of electric power and an internal antenna in the event the offender tampers with it. The HMD needs outlet of 120-volt for sufficient power and must not be huge or have too much of weight. ("Keeping track of Electronic Monitoring," 1999) ii) Transmitters: These are worn by the offenders in the wrist or ankles to signal the whereabouts of the offenders. In order to be effective, these must be light and easy to carry. It must definitely be shockproof and waterproof, giving liberty to the offender to work and take bath without detriment to the internal components or overall structure. It has to be tamperproof such that the offender is unable to meddle with its working. A particular type is a 'bracelet' which is similar to a buckle of a seatbelt connected to a 'sports watch'. Further the transmitter has a cable connected via the band which snaps in the event of its removal. As the transmitter is shockproof and water proof, it need not be taken out while performing one's daily routine. In the event of its removal, the police are alerted through an alarm. For a unit at home, it is not always important to be fitted with all of the transmitters. A transmitter of a particular manufacturer looks almost like a watch that transits signal about 7 times a day, informing the offender to make calls to the telephone number which is displayed on the watch. Following the receipt of the message, the host computer is able to identify the person, his phone number and if the offender had tinkered the watch. Daily, a report gives a detailed account of all calls and instances of tampering. ("Keeping track of Electronic Monitoring," 1999) iii) Field Monitoring Devices -- FMDs: A unit of verification known as a 'Field Monitoring Device' -- FMD lends the capacity to confirm that an offender is fitted with a transmitter in his person while being in the public. Further Field Monitoring Devices are very flexible since they are comparatively tinier, lightweight, operates within an environment of at least 100 feet. These could be handheld or installed on the roof of a vehicle. Through an FMD, a Case Officer is able to know the names of offender and in which locality they are staying, simply by the transmitting number and if the bracket have been tinkered with by someone. These types of onsite verification are important for an EMP which is successful as it guarantees public safety as well as offender conformity. Moreover, Field Monitoring Devices let officials to react swiftly to the EM infringements as well as make a checking on the offenders in the absence of their knowledge. An FMD sold by a manufacturer is capable of tracking up to 1000 events which is able to download with regard to the host computer for an overall event recording. ("Keeping track of Electronic Monitoring," 1999) iv) Alcohol Testing Devices: Offenders which are imprisoned are banned from the alcohol consumption; hence a lot of EMPS need testing of alcohol to guarantee that those program participants refrains from drinking. In case an offender is found to be positive with regard to alcohol, the HMD transits a message cautioning the center for monitoring regarding violation, as well as subsequently the monitoring center thereafter would send a message of alert to that of the EMP. In case a reading is found to be positive, the HMD normally gives out a request with regard to a repeat reading to check against the false positive reports. In case the second reading is found to be positive, the EMP staff must visit the offender's home to conduct a field test. ("Keeping track of Electronic Monitoring," 1999) v) Voice Verification Systems: Voice Verifications is an important constituent of a lot of EMPs. It might need a setup period of a long duration; nevertheless initial investments in time will give its returns. After functioning starts, the unit is capable of testing the voice pattern of the offender repeatedly during the course of the day with the maximum accuracy. During enrolment in a program offering verification of voice, the voice of the offender is being recorded as that of a voice print which is electronic and saved in the centre for monitoring for listening by the EMP at a later stage. Further programs must need offenders to announce a short sentence or a phrase as single word would not precisely record their 'presence'. At the time of every call, the caller's voice is matched by the EMP with that of the voiceprint on file. The system is also able to analyze sounds within the background for detection if he is within the vicinity where he is supposed to be. ("Keeping track of Electronic Monitoring," 1999)

For verification, offenders might be needed to make calls to the center for monitoring or they might have a call asking them to mention their birth date, time or social security number. Besides, they might also be asked to mention the sentence or phrase which was recorded previously. In case the offender submits false personal information or the sentence or phrase fails to tally with the recorded one earlier, the offender would fail in the test and the centre for monitoring is alerted. Majority of the EMPs apply voice verification together with as well as directly prior to the alcohol test. Such a process mainly ensures that the offender happens to be the individual who takes the test. Several of the EMPs permit the official to make an 800 number call to hear to a recording of the voice verification test of the offender. ("Keeping track of Electronic Monitoring," 1999)

House arrest as a community corrections program:

House arrest or confinement in homes with EM is an intermediate community correction programs devised to confine the activities of offenders within the given community. This provision lets the offenders to stay in their own houses, carry on with their routine duties. Their activities are regularly monitored either through electronic means or through periodic staff contacts to make sure that their actions are in close compliance with that stipulated by the court. Offenders who are placed under home confinement remain confined to their homes for different time period and they are to maintain a strict schedule of daily activities. Normally there are two types of home confinement program viz pre-trial and post-adjudication. Pretrial program make use of home confinement as a substitute to staying in prisons to make sure that the individuals appear in court. On the other hand, post-adjudication programs make use of home confinement as a stricture… [END OF PREVIEW]

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