Can Electronic Monitoring Reduce Reoffending?

42 Pages Posted: 21 May 2019

See all articles by Jenny Williams

Jenny Williams

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics

Donald Weatherburn

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research

Abstract

This research evaluates the impact of electronic monitoring as an alternative to prison on reoffending. Leveraging plausibly exogenous variation in sentencing outcomes generated by quasi- random assignment of judges, we find electronic monitoring reduces reoffending within 24 months by 16 percentage points compared to serving a prison sentence. For offenders who are less than 30, the reduction is 43 percentage points, with sizeable and significant reductions in reoffending persisting for 8 years. Our calculations suggest that criminal justice costs are reduced by around $30,000 for each eligible offender who serves their sentence under electronic monitoring rather than in prison.

Keywords: electronic monitoring, prison, reoffending, crime

JEL Classification: K42

Suggested Citation

Williams, Jenny and Weatherburn, Donald, Can Electronic Monitoring Reduce Reoffending?. IZA Discussion Paper No. 12122, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3390109

Jenny Williams (Contact Author)

University of Melbourne - Department of Economics ( email )

Melbourne, 3010
Australia

HOME PAGE: http://www.economics.unimelb.edu.au/staffprofile/jwilliams.htm

Donald Weatherburn

NSW Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research ( email )

St James Centre
111 Elizabeth Street
SYDNEY NSW, 2000
Australia

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