A prison called home

When electronic tags become a collective punishment

< image © Valentin Lombardi.

Incarceration puts a strain on relationships, especially the bond between a prisoner and their family. It disrupts their home life, can lead to separations, and in many cases, causes the prisoner to become completely isolated. Electronic monitoring, on the other hand, allows individuals to serve their sentence at home with their family. In practice, this form of punishment does not always run smoothly. Those under surveillance and their loved ones often see their relationships deteriorate and undergo major changes.

Can one’s home become a prison? How does control impact their loved ones? Is it possible to look at electronic tags differently? Prison Insider investigates the effect electronic monitoring has on those placed under surveillance, as well as on the people around them.

— This article is part of the series Outward Bond.

Much like the stigma of being incarcerated, the stigma of wearing an electronic tag tends to spread to the offender’s entire family.

Tags often impact the social lives of wearers’ loved ones, and day-to-day routines in the home change.

"We expect the device to do something it is not capable of doing"

Under the guise of being an alternative to incarceration, electronic monitoring shifts responsibility onto those housing the offender.