26th August 2015

A new report on electronic monitoring (EM) has been published by the SCCJR, as Cabinet Secretary for Justice Michael Matheson MSP announced the Scottish Government’s future vision for the use of EM tagging technologies at a conference in Perth.

The Scottish and International Review of the Uses of Electronic Monitoring, by Dr Hannah Graham and Prof. Gill McIvor of the University of Stirling, concludes that electronic monitoring is more effective in reducing re-offending when it is integrated with professional supervision and other support options, as these promote rehabilitation. Their Review highlights evidence and examples from different countries to demonstrate how tagging technologies can be used as an alternative to prison.

Graham and McIvor also discuss new EM technologies, and whether there is evidence to support their introduction in Scotland, including: GPS tagging and tracking, “away from” restrictions and two-way “bilateral” monitoring technology that can detect if a tagged offender is in the vicinity of a victim or a restricted area, as well as tags that can monitor alcohol use. They find that “one size does not fit all”, meaning that the use of EM tagging and curfews should be tailored in response to the people, crime type, and circumstances involved.

The full report is available here. An infographic based on the report is here.