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PEW PUBLIC SAFETY PERFORMANCE PROJECT
Recent titles include:
Juvenile Justice Reform Can Help Young People ‘Turn Lives Around
Data Trends: Utah Criminal Justice Reforms
States Can Safely Raise Their Felony Theft Thresholds Research Shows
Mississippi Enacts Round 2 of Criminal Justice Reforms
Electronic monitoring pioneer wants less punishment, more reward
Vera Institute of Justice report
Divided Justice: Trends in Black and White Jail Incarceration
The use of electronic monitoring (EM)-ankle bracelets, GPS, etc.-is on the rise, but what is the proper role of EM in pretrial cases? PJI’s blog this week offers some thoughts on the proper role of EM in pretrial cases.
Legal and evidence-based practice remind us people should be released before trial with the least restrictive conditions needed to assure pretrial success. As a constraint on liberty, EM can be quite onerous and cause many of the same consequences as jail-lost jobs, attenuated families, etc.
Also, more research is needed to understand if and when EM is effective and how it fits into the pretrial context. And data should be collected and published to ensure EM is not used disproportionately on African Americans and other people of color. When EM is used, the cost should never fall on the person being monitored. Doing so would amount to a financial condition of release that unfairly burdens poor and working class people-just like money bail.
The Center for Media Justice released a set of guidelines today that elaborate on these and other considerations for jurisdictions looking to start using/improve their use of electronic monitoring. If jurisdiction does choose to use EM, it’s imperative to ensure the technology is accurate and working properly to avoid false alerts. There are examples of pretrial services agencies using EM sparingly. Allegheny County, PA used EM for less than 1% of cases in 2017 with a 71% success rate of those in the program.
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