Critical Criminology

, Volume 21, Issue 1, pp 123–139 | Cite as

Progress or More of the Same? Electronic Monitoring and Parole in the Age of Mass Incarceration

  • James KilgoreEmail author


Often billed as an “alternative to incarceration”, electronic monitoring (EM) is widely trumpeted as a key method of reducing incarceration costs while maintaining public safety. However, little research has been done which closely examines EM in the historical context of mass incarceration and the paradigm of punishment. This article focuses on the use of EM in parole in that broader context. Through research into the legal and policy frameworks for EM as well as via personal interviews with people who have been on EM while on parole, the author concludes that the present EM practice reinforces the dominant punishment paradigm and places major obstacles in the way of the successful re-entry for people returning from prison. He concludes with some concrete recommendations about changes in law, policy and implementation guidelines that would allow EM to operate in an environment more conducive to rehabilitation.


Criminal Justice Electronic Monitoring Parole Officer Mass Incarceration Community Supervision 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for African StudiesUniversity of Illinois (Urbana-Champaign)ChampaignUSA

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