Electronic monitoring (EM) has matured into a commonplace penal tool used widely across Europe and beyond. Its applications appear to be limitless and its purposes diverse.
It is used in the areas of mental health, domestic violence, terrorism and immigration and diverse target groups including mental health patients, children and young people, victims of domestic violence as well as offenders.
EM also creates new challenges. For example, it leads to questions about whether, and in what ways, EM replaces, develops and/or improves the traditional roles of probation services; the extent to which the police and families are and/or should be involved in ‘supervising’ offenders; and the most effective and efficient ways of providing supervision and support for monitored individuals.
At the same time it creates opportunities to join up different areas of public and social policy and to act as a catalyst for meaningful multi-agency and multi-sector working thereby enabling a more holistic view of monitored individuals to be taken.