The Working Group has taken great effort to explore the key issues surrounding the use of EM in Scotland to inform its recommendations. As part of this work, the Working Group commissioned the Scottish Centre for Crime & Justice Research (2015 SCCJR research) to undertake a Scottish and International Review of the Uses of Electronic Monitoring. Independently, the SCCJR and the University of Stirling were commissioned to undertake research as part of a wider European Project; 'Creativity and effectiveness in the use of electronic monitoring as an alternative to imprisonment in EU member states'. The resulting report: 'Current Uses of Electronic Monitoring in Scotland' and its recommendations have also informed the work of the Group.
The research above highlighted that while aspects of EM have been relatively well researched since its introduction, there are specific areas which would benefit from more in-depth research.
One of these areas undoubtedly is gathering more insight on the lived experiences of monitored persons, their families and victims of crime. It is therefore suggested that further research is undertaken with these groups, whether through an independent study or other mechanism to gather their input, or both. Understanding and addressing the effects on families in particular should be a priority, given what research there currently is suggests that having a monitored person in the home can cause a great deal of anxiety by placing responsibilities on their friends and family to help ensure compliance.
In addition, the Working Group agreed that more detailed research should be undertaken on how EM is best integrated with other interventions. This research could be conducted alongside the Demonstration Projects as they establish what works as a wider package of support alongside EM and what the costs implications for this are. Conducting this research in a Scottish context would be helpful in bolstering the international evidence-base for this approach.
It is therefore recommended that further research of this nature is undertaken as Scottish Government moves forward with its new uses of Electronic Monitoring.
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