Oct. 25, 2013 Criminologists at the University of Tübingen will lead research into the effectiveness of electronic monitoring of criminal offenders in Germany. The research project is sponsored by the German Justice Ministry. Institute of Criminology director Professor Jörg Kinzig and his colleagues Anne Bräuchle and Alexander Baur will analyze the application and functions of electronic tagging in Germany in order to get a clear picture of its effectiveness and the problems it involves.
Some 60 offenders in Germany are monitored using the electronic tag around one ankle. The project will include an analysis of these offenders' files as well as personal interviews with them. Judges, probation officers and police will also report to the criminologists on their experiences with the monitoring devices. The results of the project will provide lawmakers with a knowledge base for the development of future policies.
Electronic tagging is used on those convicted of serious violent or sexual offences who have served their prison sentence but have had to be released from preventative detention. The monitoring devices are used as part of the supervision of their conduct and are meant to prevent former offenders from relapsing into criminal behavior. The tags must be worn at all times and may not be manipulated. Some of the tagged offenders are not permitted to enter or to leave certain areas. Electronic monitoring was introduced in Germany in 2011 in response to a European Court of Human Rights decision, which held that certain forms of preventative detention contravened human rights law. Electronic tagging is now used to maintain a watch on offenders who prior to 2011 would have been kept in preventative custody.
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