Types of Electronic Monitoring Devices

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electronic monitoring

Crime is an ever-evolving venture for the people that resort to it. As technology evolves, how people commit come crimes has changed. It’s time to take a page from the criminal’s playbook and follow their lead.

The justice system has the daunting task of upholding and enforcing the law. Police, courts, and prisons have to work together to make sure that criminals learn from their time inside and follow the law once they are released.

Electronic monitoring has been a mainstay for parole and probation officers and to keep the public aware of individuals that live in their communities. There are several types of devices available, and they have their own methods of monitoring. Keep reading to find out more about these devices.

How Does Electronic Monitoring Work?

There are two types of electronic monitoring devices in electronic monitoring of offenders.

The first method is radio frequency (RF) monitoring. This technology uses radio waves that communicate between a worn monitoring device and a secondary device in the home. The secondary device acts as a sort of tether in the home and will send an alert to a corrections officer if the person under surveillance strays too far from the tether. 

RF monitoring is the principal monitoring method when people are on house arrest.

GPS monitoring is the second method to track people. GPS monitoring can find use as a means of monitoring house arrest, but because of its capabilities, it provides more utility. 

The GPS monitor allows people being monitored to continue with some semblance of a normal life. A secondary device in the home may act to determine how far someone can travel from their home. This is called geofencing.

If someone travels outside of the “fencing”, an alert will be sent to the corrections department. 

Some GPS monitors have also been equipped with speakers to communicate with the person under surveillance. This raises the question of privacy and the possibility of law enforcement officials listening to conversations. To date, no ankle monitors have been fit with microphones or the ability to record conversations.

Radio Frequency Monitoring

RF monitoring methods are straightforward. A tether is placed in the home that works in tandem with a landline or cellular base station. RF monitoring finds use in cases that involve house arrest or when someone has to be home by a preset curfew.

The tether can be set to track a monitor with a range of fifty to hundred fifty feet. When the tether detects the monitor, it sends a notification to the monitoring center. Monitor centers have staff working in them every day of the year to notify law enforcement if someone under surveillance gets too far out of range.

The status of a person as a parolee, being under probation, or under a prison release program will determine if they have a curfew or if they are even allowed to leave their home. 

RF monitors also have indicators that will notify a monitoring center if the ankle monitor has come to suffer tampering. While handy, RF devices are not perfect. 

The distance of a person wearing an ankle monitor from their tether may not be correct, which can trigger alerts and send notifications to law enforcement to perform a check. Some people who wear ankle monitors have also used tinfoil as a way to block the signal to the tether.

GPS Monitoring

GPS monitoring functions in many of the same ways that RF monitors do. A tether is set up in the home that will notify monitoring centers when they return home. In addition to these measures, inclusion and exclusion zones can also be set.

Inclusion and exclusion zones can be permanent markers if a person under surveillance cannot leave their home. They can also be set to a schedule if they can go to work.

Exclusion zones prevent the person who wears an ankle monitor from a particular address. For example, the exclusion zone can prevent someone from getting near a bar if they cannot have alcohol. An alert will notify the monitoring center if a person reaches proximity to an address in the exclusion zone. 

These monitors can also track the speed of a person’s movement or when they stop at a location for a length of time.

GPS monitors see usage when tracking sex offenders or people that pose a high risk to the community.

Other Forms of Tracking

Breathalyzers are a tool that may be used while someone is on electronic monitoring. Under almost all circumstances, people that have to wear an ankle monitor are forbidden from consuming alcohol. Spontaneous breathalyzer tests may be applied to ensure that a person is following the terms of their release, parole, or probation.

While under house arrest, people under surveillance may have their calls monitored by an automatic number identifier (ANI). This is the same technology that allows emergency operators to see the number and address of a person who calls them. This technology can help law enforcement ensure that people are not interacting with the wrong people.

Random call generators are a way to check if someone is at home by curfew. The calls can be set to occur at any time of the day. Multiple calls can be made to a person’s cell or landline to ensure that they are at home at the appropriate time.

These forms of monitoring in tandem with electronic monitoring devices should give law enforcement near-total access to ensure someone is compliant with a court’s orders. However, programs that also enrich the person under surveillance can help prevent recidivism.

GPS Tracking for a Safer Community

If you found this article helpful on different types of electronic monitoring, we would love to help you provide a secure monitoring protocol. Our GPS trackers provide multiple features that ensure ease of use for everyone.

You can contact us at KAPa Technologies for a consultation.

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