In Sweden, electronic monitoring has been in use since 1994, firstly as an alternative to a short prison term (front door), and now also as a means of helping inmates to make the transition back to life in the community at the end of a term in prison (back door). Monitoring is based on voluntary participation in the programme, but is backed with the threat of incarceration if the regulations associated with the electronic monitoring programme are breached.
Over the years, the technology has been further developed. From only providing the opportunity to check whether an individual is present at or absent from specific places, satellite technology is now available that allows for continuous monitoring of the movements made by any given individual. The emergence of these new technological advances created an interest in using electronic monitoring for other objectives within the penal justice system. One such objective involves reinforcing restraining orders. However, caution is needed when it comes to the use of electronic monitoring for new purposes.
At the request of the Swedish Government, the National Council for Crime Prevention has examined the possibility of using electronic monitoring to reinforce restraining orders.
© The Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, 2005
Author: Annika Pallvik-Fransson