Development of Electronic Monitoring in Scotland - Analysis of Consultation Responses

In September 2013, the Scottish Government embarked upon a period of consultation to examine options for the development of electronic monitoring in Scotland. This consultation sought views on the operation of the current electronic monitoring service as well as options for future development of the service.

2 Introduction


2.1 Electronic monitoring has been in place in Scotland since 2002, following a piloting phase, which began in 1998. It plays a significant part in offender management as a method that is available to courts and prisons in Scotland to allow a sentence or part of a sentence to be served in the community.

2.2 In April 2013, a new electronic monitoring service provider was contracted in Scotland and there is a capability to provide a satellite tracking service in the new contract. There has been little work undertaken by way of a formal review of electronic monitoring since its introduction more than a decade ago, and the new contractual arrangement presented a timely opportunity to review electronic monitoring and to examine options for the future development of the service.

2.3 In September 2013, the consultation paper 'Development of Electronic Monitoring in Scotland: A Consultation on the Future Direction of the Electronic Monitoring Service' was launched. The consultation looked at possible options for future development of the electronic monitoring service made available by the advances in technology, such as: satellite monitoring technology and remote alcohol monitoring technology.

Overview of responses

2.4 The consultation closed on 31 December 2013 and 48 electronic responses were submitted from a range of organisations. As part of the analysis process, responses were assigned to groups. This enabled analysis of whether differences, or commonalities, appeared across the various different types of organisations that responded.

2.5 The following table shows the numbers of responses in each group.

Table 1.1 Consultation responses

Respondent group


Local government


Partnerships eg Alcohol and Drug, Criminal Justice, Heath and Care


Community Justice Authorities


Health Boards


Other Public Sector


(Total Public Sector)


Private Sector


Third Sector




Other Independent and Professional Bodies




2.6 A full list of all those organisations who submitted a response to the consultation, listed by respondent group, is included in Appendix 1.

Analysis and reporting

2.7 Comments given at each open question were examined and main themes, similar issues raised or comments made in a number of responses, were identified. In addition, we looked for sub-themes such as reasons for opinions, specific examples or explanations, alternative suggestions or other related comments.

2.8 Where respondents did not use the questionnaire format for their response but provided comments pertinent to specific questions these have been included in the thematic analysis at the relevant questions.

2.9 The main themes were looked at in relation to respondent groups to ascertain whether any particular theme was specific to one particular group, or whether it appeared in responses across groups. When looking at group differences however, it must be also borne in mind that where a specific opinion has been identified in relation to a particular group or groups, this does not indicate that other groups do not share this opinion, but rather that they have simply not commented on that particular point.

2.10 Where a theme is described without being associated with a particular group, it can be assumed that this type of comment was found in responses from a range of different groups.

2.11 While the consultation gave all those who wished to comment an opportunity to do so, given the self-selecting nature of this type of exercise, any views reported here cannot be extrapolated to a wider population outwith the respondent sample.

2.12 The following chapters document the substance of the analysis and present the main views expressed in responses. These chapters follow the ordering of the sections in the consultation document.

2.13 Appropriate verbatim comments, from those who gave permission for their responses to be made public, are used throughout the report to illustrate themes or to provide extra detail for some specific points.


Email: Susan Bulloch

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