From the 3rd until the 5th of December 2024, it is time for the 13th edition of the Electronic Monitoring Conference in Cascais/Lisbon, Portugal. This year’s theme is ‘Beyond Control – Electronic Monitoring and Prevention’. 

This conference will explore questions about how electronic monitoring (EM) assists with meeting the goals of the criminal justice system. EM is now well established as a criminal justice tool across Europe and the rest of the World. As it becomes further embedded into everyday criminal justice practice, and remains appealing to politicians and policy-makers, its applications are also expanding, for example for domestic violence and with juveniles. Nevertheless, evidence about its impact and effectiveness lag behind its implementation. This conference begins to address this gap but drawing together available evidence and lessons learnt about crucial questions of effectiveness – how, and in what ways, does EM manage offenders’ behaviour in relation to compliance with court orders, reoffending and other outcomes? Does EM assist with preventing unwanted behaviours? What are the most effective ways of working with wearers to improve outcomes? It will also address areas of growth – domestic violence, juveniles and pre-trial – which raise fundamental questions for the way in which EM has been understood and implemented to date as well as ethical and human rights concerns.

Programme

Click here to view the draft programme

Plenary abstracts

Read below short abstract about several of the plenary presentations that are included in the conference programme.

  • Pre-trial use of electronic monitoring

Many countries use EM (RF and GPS technologies) during the pre-trial stage when wearers are awaiting trial and presumed to be innocent. According to the European Convention of Human Rights, other international conventions and many national laws, the purposes of EM at this stage of the criminal justice process differ from those post-conviction and should not relate to punishment or rehabilitation. EM should be used to meet the concerns of courts set out in relevant legislation, which relate to inter alia public protection and risks of absconding, further offending and interfering with the administration of justice. Despite this, all wearers whether pre- or post-conviction are treated the same in some countries, raising human rights concerns.
EM is used to monitor conditions which facilitate release/bail, for example, house arrest, curfews and exclusion/inclusion zones. In some countries, but not necessarily all, EM is a direct alternative to pre-trial detention. Consequently, one justification for its increasing use across Europe has been as a tool to reduce pre-trial prison populations. It is also viewed as less disruptive, burdensome and uncomfortable for wearers than pre-trial detention.
This session will examine how EM is used at the pre-trial stage, highlighting some best practices and some of the challenges, including how to ensure that pre-trial EM complies with European standards for the treatment of those awaiting trial. Available evidence about its effectiveness in terms of managing prison populations, the risks of absconding and reoffending and ensuring that defendants face trial will also be explored.

  • Non-compliance and breach

One of the strengths of EM is that it detects non-compliance events systematically and immediately, bolstering confidence in its ability to manage wearers’ behaviour and providing additional reassurance to court decision-makers. However, it also raises challenges given the number of minor violations detected by EM equipment, the battery charging regimes required by GPS devices and the amount of information generated. This session compares and contrasts the different approaches taken to managing EM violations in several countries, focusing on their breach policies and practices to improve understanding of what is effective. It will distinguish between processes and outcomes of technology-led and people-led approaches to managing non-compliance and breaches. It will also highlight similarities and differences between pre-and post-conviction breach policies, procedures and practices.

  • Domestic violence and electronic monitoring

In response to the widespread and persistent problem of domestic violence, electronic monitoring (EM) has emerged as a potential tool for reducing reoffending and improving victim safety. While EM shows promise further research and evaluation are necessary to fully understand its effectiveness and its legal, ethical and social implications. As we look to the future of domestic violence prevention, the use of EM must be carefully examined and evaluated, with an eye towards maximising its benefits whilst minimising potential harms to wearers, victims’ and their families.
This session examines the potential benefits and limitations of using EM in domestic violence cases, including its impact on victims’ safety and reoffending, its cost-effectiveness as well as legal, ethical and social considerations.
This session explores the challenges and (best) practices related to using EM in domestic violence cases. How can research and practice generate new evidence on the effectiveness of EM in reducing reoffending and improving victim safety? What’s the right balance between offender accountability and respect for individual rights.

  • Juveniles and electronic monitoring

In some European countries electronic monitoring is being considered for the first time as a response to emerging trends in juvenile offending, including an increase in gang-related violence and young people’s involvement in drug supply. Its potential use has also arisen because of changes to criminal laws and policies which have resulted in stricter criminal sanctions and measures. In other countries, such as England and Wales, it is already being used with juveniles, and to tackle offending linked to gangs, drugs and weapons. This session will reflect on whether EM should be a tool to control and support juveniles to desist from offending, the implications of using it for this group and how EM practices need to be developed to take account of juveniles’ special status and human rights considerations. The discussion will draw on the experience of countries in different stages of developing EM for use with juveniles.

Workshops

During the conference, there are 2 rounds of 2 workshops each, for which you are requested to make a choice when completing your registration.

More information coming soon

Registration and fees

>Click here to register.

Early Bird fee
  • CEP member: 200 euros;
  • Non-CEP member: 400 euros;
  • Private organisation: 600 euros.

The Early bird registration deadline is 1 May 2024.

Registration fee
  • CEP member: 250 euros;
  • Non-CEP member: 450 euros;
  • Private organisation: 650 euros.

The registration deadline is 3 November 2024.

Accommodation and conference venue

Accommodation is not included in the conference fee, but CEP can recommend Hotel Cascais Miragem Health & Spa for your stay. The CEP promotional link, click here.

Venue

Organisers

                          

Sponsors

 

 

 


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