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Electronic monitoring in Scotland 1998 - 2006

Nellis, M. (2006) Electronic monitoring in Scotland 1998 - 2006. Scottish Journal of Criminal Justice Studies, 12. pp. 74-96.

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Abstract

The electronic monitoring (EM) of offenders originated in the USA and grew steadily across Europe and rest of the world during the1990s (Ball, Huff and Lilly 1988; Mayer, Haverkamp and Levy 2003). Electronically monitored Restriction of Liberty Orders (RLOs) were introduced in Scotland by the Crime and Punishment (Scotland) Act 1997 in the last days of a Conservative administration (Scottish Office 1996). They were part of a general strategy intended to strengthen existing forms of community supervision, to increase public and judicial confidence in such supervision and thereby to improve public protection. However, as McAra (1999) notes, there was still significant deference in the Conservative strategy to the humanistic, “penal welfare” values so staunchly upheld by Scottish crime policy networks since the 1960s, which had both survived the encroaching “culture of control” (Garland 2001), and bestowed a distinctive “tartan” slant on several indigenous criminal justice institutions. Until recently, the congruence or otherwise of EM with the enduring Scottish inflection on penal welfare values has been at the heart of all arguments about it in Scotland, although, tentatively, it might now be suggested that the questions are changing.