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Electronic Monitoring In The Netherlands Essay

1548 words - 7 pages

Electronic Monitoring in the Netherlands
EM Conference/CEP/speech Sjef van Gennip/7 mei 2009

The results of the evaluation report from the Scientific Research and Documentation Centre show that “Electronic Monitoring is seen as a punishment by the convicted”. According to the participants the intervention is definitely a punishment: it is very difficult and is a big test of your self-discipline and responsibility. Electronic Monitoring, also known as EM, with radio frequency identification equipment started as an experiment in the North of the Netherlands in 1995. The experiment lasted 2 years. A suspect or a convict would have a receiver placed in their home and would have to wear a ...view middle of the document...

As I have described before, we have a wide range of experiences with EM. But it’s still a relatively new thing. Outside the prison walls it is ‘normal’ that this method is used, after all it was introduced for just that. The application on the basis of a judicial sentence is lacking. I believe that this has 2 explanations: 1. The judges do not always see the advantages and the added value of using EM. 2. We have thus far not been able to shed some light as to what advantages and added value the method has.

The criminal environment in the Netherlands is changing. New methods have led to the use of conditional sanctions. This is what the Dutch judicial system is going to be focusing on for the next few years. The Dutch parole organisations have given themselves the order to deliver a crucial contribution. Parole Supervision has been adjusted to the current times. Mainly by means of the program Redesign Supervision. Within that, levels of control and supervision have been designed. The most important aspects of the programme: justice, reproducibility and standardization of processes.

The amount of supervision and control are adjusted to suit the risk level of the suspect or guilty. When judging how big that risk is, we use the results of the diagnosis, the professional verdict of a parole officer and the possibility of harm or injury. The program gives the option to use EM if it would be useful or effective, for instance when there is a high or medioker risk for criminal activities. Back to the developments since 1995. I have given you a brief summary of the findings of the Research and Documentation Centre. The expectations were high due to the positive evaluation. It might be a good idea to give you an idea of some numbers. The expectation in 2000 was that up to 1600 detainees in a penitentiary program would have been under EM. In 2008 only 866 detainees were under EM by means of Radio Frequency Identification. The results are disappointing. When we look at the sentences with EM by verdict it is even more dramatic. In 1999 the Public Ministry received the opportunity to demand community service and a maximum of 6 months probation with EM, instead of a 12 month prison sentence. Still EM it not used enough. The probation officers did not recommend it enough, and the prosecutor did not demand it in cases where it would have been a feasible option. In the rare case that it did happen we were dependent on what the Magistrate put in his verdict. In 2005 the Public Ministry defined more possibilities to use Radio Frequency Identification as an instrument to check so called ‘Special condition’. This however, did not lead to a significant increase. In 2007 a sentence using Radio Frequency Identification was used 100 times. In 2008 it was eighty five times. Despite this I am still positive. The earlier mentioned program Redesign Supervision will boost the usage of EM. The principles of the program will ensure that EM will be used more often as a...

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