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Incorporating electronically monitored house arrest into British Columbia corrections : |b the processes… Mainprize, Stephen 1990

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INCORPORATING ELECTRONICALLY MONITORED HOUSE ARREST INTO BRITISH COLUMBIA CORRECTIONS: THE PROCESSES OF POWER, KNOWLEDGE, AND REGULATION IN THE DEBUT OF A PUNISHMENT TECHNIQUE By STEPHEN MAINPRIZE B.A., University of Victoria, 1976 M.A., University of Western Ontario, 1979 A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIRE-MENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF DOCTOR OF PHILOSOPHY in THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE STUDIES Department of Anthropology and Sociology University of British Columbia We accept this thesis as conforming to the required standard THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA January 1990 (c) Stephen Mainprize In presenting this thesis in partial fulfilment of the requirements for an advanced degree at the University of British Columbia, I agree that the Library shall make it freely available for reference and study. I further agree that permission for extensive copying of this thesis for scholarly purposes may be granted by the head of my department or by his or her representatives. It is understood that copying or publication of this thesis for financial gain shall not be allowed without my written permission. The University of Vancouver, Canada Department Date UA*L#C/9?C? DE-6 (2/88) ABSTRACT Since 1984 in the U.S., electronic monitoring has been gradually incorporated into corrections as a means of verifying offenders' curfew compliance in programs of house arrest or home confinement. Programs of electronically monitored house arrest combine practices of community supervision found in probation, with practices of surveillance and policing found in prisons. Their combination produces a hybrid carceral form. The species of 'intermediate punishment' that is created expands the possibilities of criminal sentencing and classification. These programs have been heralded as humane and cost efficient in managing mainly 'low risk' offenders, and as a potentially effective method of dealing with prison crowding. The recent inauguration of electronic monitoring in a program of house arrest in the province of British Columbia is the first deployment of this new type of penal form in Canada. The present research investigation focuses on this program run by the B.C. Corrections Branch. Prior to a consideration of this program as the site for the present research, a necessary task in the first part of this dissertation is to review the recent literature describing programs of electronically monitored house arrest. This review describes recent electronic monitoring programs in U.S. criminal justice and correctional spheres where virtually all developments have occurred to date. After this literature review, the British Columbia research site is described and a summary of the findings of an exploratory research investigation describing the effects of this sanction on offenders is given. Despite methodological limitations of the research sample some important insights are provided about how this sanction works to control, punish, and discipline offenders. The main research question considered in this empirical investigation - how does this sanction affect offenders and their consociates? - is addressed through subjective reports provided by open-ended interviewing of a cohort of 60 offenders placed on electronically monitored house arrest in the B.C. EMS Pilot Project program. The second part of the dissertation establishes a social analytic basis, drawing on the work of Michel Foucault, for critically evaluating the local use of this new correctional option. Part II of the dissertation evaluates the disciplinary and organizational or systemic effects of the deployment of this sanction within the correctional enterprise. A framework for assessing the possibility of achieving the four penal aims of punishment, incapacitation, deterrence, and rehabilitation is employed in a re-assessment of the sanction's normalizing effects and disciplinary potential. The picture provided of the achievement of these penal objectives is mixed and indicates that more research is required. Finally, and of more overarching significance, various data sources relating to the local development and implementation of this program in B.C. are examined in order to evaluate the applicability of the hypothesis that penal reforms expand the apparatus of deviancy control, a pattern found among many recent studies of 'community-based alternatives to incarceration'. The discursive rationality accompanying the introduction of such programs suggests that costs for social control will be decreased and implies that correctional staffing can be reduced through greater efficiency. Contrary to these claims, evidence from the EMS program points to systemic expansion rather than contraction, a trend sufficiently visible to warrant further study and confirmation. The thesis concludes with a discussion of the larger significances entailed in the adoption of the new information technology, of which electronic monitoring is one pertinent example. iii T A B L E OF CONTENTS ABSTRACT , ii TABLE OF CONTENTS iv LIST OF TABLES ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS x PART I 1 Chapters 1. INTRODUCTION 2 Notes 20 2. ELECTRONIC MONITORING AND HOME CONFINEMENT 22 1. Introduction 22 2. Electronic Monitoring 25 2.1 Technical Developments 27 2.1.1 Dr Schwitzgebel's Machine 32 2.1.2'Continous Signalling'and'Programmed Contact'Systems ' 34 2.2 Electronic Monitoring as Information Technology and Information Work 38 2.2.1 Information Technology and Information Work.... - 40 2.2.2 Social and Spatial Dimensions of 'Information Systems' 42 3. Concurrent Developments in Community Corrections: 'community control' 44 3.1 Historical Uses of 'House Arrest' 46 4. Introduction and Use of Electronic Monitoring in Community-Based Correctional Practice: marriage of social and information technologies 48 4.1 Programmatic and Operational Developments to Date 52 4.1.1 Different Uses of Electronic Monitoring 56 iv 4.1.2 Electronically Monitored House Arrest Within the Criminal Justice System 62 4.1.3 Offender Impact of Electronic Monitoring and House Arrest: a neglected concern 72 Notes .'. 75 3. RESEARCH SITE: B.C. CORRECTIONS BRANCH'S EMS PILOT PROJECT 86 1. Introduction 86 2. Purposes and Organization of the B.C. Electronic Monitoring System (EMS) Pilot Project program 87 2.1 Purposes 87 2.2 Organization 89 3. Research Setting: Access, Questions, and Methods 92 3.1 Research Access 93 3.2 Questions and Methods 94 3.3 Assessing Organizational Motives and Practices 96 Notes 101 4. SOCIAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL, AND FAMILIAL IMPACTS OF HOME CONFINEMENT AND ELECTRONIC MONITORING 108 1. Introduction 108 1.1 Questions: Experiences and Impacts 109 1.2 Deviantizing and Normalizing Effects I l l 2. The Sample 112 2.1 Cautionary Remarks Concerning Description and Interpretation of the Data 113 3. Findings 114 3.1 Overview of Sample 115 3.2 Areas of Impact 118 3.2.1 Home Confinement 118 3.2.2 Work 125 3.2.3 Bracelet and Concealment 130 3.2.4 Violations 136 3.2.5 Sentence Length & Feelings About the EMS Program 140 3.2.6 EMS Intrusions on Others 143 3.2.7 Deterrence and Rehabilitation 147 4. Summary and Conclusions 151 Notes 161 Part II 163 5. LOCATING HOME CONFINEMENT AND ELECTRONIC MONITORING WITHIN THE SOCIOLOGY OF PENALITY.. 164 1. Introduction 164 2. Issues in the Social Analysis of Penality 170 2.1 Some Recent Histories of Punishment and Social Control 176 2.2 The Emergence of Imprisonment 177 2.3 Reforms of Victorian Penality 180 2.4 The Dispersal of Discipline and the Penal Expansion Hypothesis 184 3. Foucault's Analytics of Power and Disciplinary Strategy 189 3.1 Analytics of Power 191 3.2 Panopticism 193 3.3 Power and 'Information' 194 3.4 Two Uses of Foucault 197 Notes 202 6. ANALYSIS OF DISCIPLINARY EFFECTS 215 1. Introduction.. 215 2. Problematic Correspondence of Discourse, Practices, and Effects: distinguishing between disciplinary and systemic levels 217 vi 3. A Foucauldian Framework for Describing and Analyzing Penal Techniques: 'normal' and 'specialized' disciplinary regimes 222 3.1 Normal and Special Forms of Discipline 223 3.2 'Simple Instruments' of Discipline , 226 4. Interpreting Programmatic Effects. 230 4.1 Incapacitation 232 4.2 Punishment 236 4.3 Deterrence 239 4.4 Rehabilitation 241 4.5 Summary: an assessment of the correspondence of discourse-practices-effects at the disciplinary level 246 5. Limits of Disciplinary Analysis 252 Notes , 255 7. EXPANSION OF STATE CONTROL 266 1. Introduction 266 2. The Inaugural Process and the Pilot Project Program 274 2.1 Programmatic Developments to Date 274 2.2 Future Program Developments, Program Costing, and Expansionary Drift 280 2.3 Autonomous Parallel Discourses: the citizen's Advisory Committee and the production of research knowledge 290 3. Analyzing the Complex Strategical Situation: the political nexus of the EMS program and force relations 296 4. Correspondence of Discourse-Practices-Effects 301 Notes 307 8. CONCLUSION 324 1. Overview 324 1.1 Methodological Shortcomings and Future Research Work 329 1.2 Program History and Organizational Complications 332 vii 1.3 Interpretive Understanding and Extrapolation of the Expansion Hypothesis 336 2. Proposed Conditions for a Policy of Optimal Utilization of Electronic Monitoring . and House Arrest 338 3. Extending Corrections into the Community: the case of Electronic Monitoring and House Arrest 342 Notes 346 BIBLIOGRAPHY 350 Appendix I 373 Appendix II 375 Appendix III 380 Appendix IV 381 Appendix V 383 viii LIST OF TABLES Table Page 1 Type of Equipment by Year of Survey 36 2 States In Which Monitoring Programs Exist and Daily Count Size 54 3 Age Range in the Research Sample 116 4 Crosstabulation of Revelation/Concealment and Socio-economic Status 132 5 Mean Daily Program Count During the EMS Pilot Project Period (by month) 275 6 Corrections Branch Budget and Staff Allocations 287 7 Corrections Branch Budget Projected on the Basis of Annual Inflation 289 Graph 1 'Project Costs/Savings' 285 ix ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS This research owes a debt of gratitude to various persons who assisted with and supported its formulation and implementation. I especially want to thank Dr. Bob Ratner for his steadfast support and guidance in the completion of this manuscript. His indefatigable effort(s) on my behalf have enabled me to complete this work. It has been a great pleasure to work closely with Bob, who I believe to be an exceptional scholar, teacher, and human being. Many thanks also go to Drs. Elvi Whittaker and Roy Turner, who have also stood as models of exemplary academic excellence over the years, as well as providing helpful comments and criticisms of earlier drafts of this dissertation. I would also like to thank many other persons without whose help this research would not have been possible. First, to my friend and academic colleague, Dr. Brian Burtch, I owe a special thanks for suggesting the possibility of this research, and then assisting greatly in facilitating access through the B.C. EMS program's citizen Advisory Committee on which he served for a period of time as a representative member for the B.C. Civil Liberties Association. I would also like to thank members of the citizens' Advisory Committee for their encouragement and support of this research, and for assisting wherever possible in ensuring the research access necessary to complete this investigation. Thanks also go to UBC Arts Computing Centre Consultant, Virginia Green, for computing assistance and support in the management and analysis of the data base. I owe a special debt of thanks to Ms. Linda Neville, the EMS Pilot Project program Director, and to Mr. Fred Hitchcock, Local Director of the Lower Mainland Region EMS program, for their co-operation and assistance in the conduct of the research. I would also like to thank the many Corrections Branch personnel who provided additional assistance and information, without whose help, this dissertation would not have taken its present form. Thanks go out to EMS Pilot Project program Correctional Officers who provided help in gaining initial access to research subjects, as well as important information on the structure and operation of the Pilot Project program. I would also like to thank Corrections Branch Policy, Program, and Staffing Analysts whose valuable information has enhanced this Pilot Project account, making it more comprehensive than it would otherwise have been without their help. Finally, the investigation of effects on offenders of this sanction could not have been done without the co-operation and support of the many persons who agreed to participate in the research interview. / Part I 1 Chapter One: Introduction At the start of the present decade, crowding in U.S. prisons precipitated development and testing of correctional programs involving electronic monitoring and house arrest (cf. Blomberg et al., 1987). While employment of house arrest is by no means an historical innovation, the utilization of computers and other information technologies to monitor compliance with house arrest and curfew schedules is much more recent by comparison. Their combination permits a higher degree of surveillance and control over offenders in the community. This dissertation examines this newly developed criminal justice sanction, namely electronically monitored house arrest. It provides a sociological investigation of the institutional development and expansion of this new correctional and social control technique within U.S. and Canadian criminal justice systems. As well, the present research investigates the effects that this new type of criminal justice sanctioning method has, both on offenders subjected to it and on the criminal justice and correctional apparatus from which it has arisen. The chapters of this work and its two-part division reflect the attempt to address these two fundamental dimensions. The effects of electronically monitored house arrest programs on offenders (and those they live and work with) has received little attention to date, something the present investigation seeks to remedy. The research question at the individual level can be posed succinctly: how does the penal sanction of electronically monitored house arrest affect offenders and those with whom they live? Before conducting an empirical assessment of this question, a review of programmatic developments involving electronic monitoring and house arrest will be undertaken in Chapter Two. The content of Chapter Two represents an attempt to provide background knowledge about programmatic developments that leads into the investigations centering on the B.C. program that will follow. Although the review of developments in electronic monitoring and house arrest programs represents a delay in getting to the descriptive and analytical focus on the B.C. program, this hiatus will enable the latter program to be located, later, in wider comparative contexts of criminal justice and correctional practice. Thus, the literature review in the second chapter of the thesis serves the objective of locating the B.C. program in a larger framework of political, economic, institutional, technological, informational, ideological, and social forces. The program in question - the B.C. Electronic Monitoring System program (or EMS program)1 - is the research site for this investigation of offender impacts and is described in Chapter Three. After reporting on the site for the empirical examination in Chapter Three, a research enterprise will be described and findings presented from a 60 case cohort of EMS program participants. These findings, set out in Chapter Four, are based on accounts from offenders that reflect their experiences in being subjected to electronically monitored house arrest. The particular dimensions of interest of this research pertain to the social, psychological, and familial effects of offenders' subjection to electronically monitored house arrest. Together, these first four chapters form Part I of the dissertation. It is important to be clear about the relationship of Parts I and II of the dissertation. Part II of the dissertation consists of a shift involving a reassessment and reconceptualization of the findings and discussions set out in Part I. This is accomplished by way of addressing some relevant, important ideas derived from Michel Foucault - ideas that are central to the shift in perspective taken in Part II and to the analysis of this particular form of penality. The introduction of Foucault will be undertaken primarily in Chapters Five and Six, though Chapter Two will also have briefly discussed the employment of his conceptualization of power and knowledge (which will be elucidated in much greater detail in the later chapters). In essence, two hypotheses derived from Foucault are examined in Part II in light of the findings and the programmatic context of the research site in question (as depicted in Part I). First, rather than examining the concordance of programmatic designs, their institutional embodiments, and subsequent outcomes, Foucault proposes an alternate hypothesis, namely that there is a non-correspondence of penal designs, practical institutional organizations, and outcomes. The second hypothesis is related to the foregoing in that analysis at the systemic level reveals an expansion of the penal apparatus and the concomitant regulatory bureaucracy. This suggests a correspondence between outcomes (the 'multiplication of power') and the latent objective of the penal system which is that of growth. Ironically, this takes the form of the productivity of punitive power carried out within the practical organization of the discursive reform strategy of 'decarceration'. The policy of electronically monitored house arrest is a species of 'community-based alternatives to incarceration'2 and part of that reform strategy. These two hypotheses are differentially examined in Chapters Six and Seven, respectively. In Chapter Six, on the one hand, a re-assessment of the research findings of the offender effects of this sanction - a re-assessment of the findings of Chapter Four - is undertaken. This is done, not to evaluate the applicability of the 'expansion hypothesis' so much as to assess more rigorously and critically whether this new sanction achieves - or could potentially achieve - the punitive goals that are stated or implied for it (i.e., the penal aims of incapacitation, punishment, deterrence, and rehabilitation). The hypothesis of the non-correspondence of discourse, practices, and effects, in other words, can be evaluated for this sanction by critical re-assessment of the findings. In Foucault's terminology, this analysis focuses on the disciplinary level, the level of the individual. Chapter Seven, on the other hand, entails the provision of new data and documentary resources in order to assess the expansion hypothesis. Assessment of the fiscal dimension is important here because 'costs savings' - meaning monetary costs - is a discursive truth announced for this penal method and a significant constituent of programmatic legitimacy. Evidence available to date suggests there is a gross discrepancy between the announced goal of reducing correctional expenditures and the programmatic costs associated with an ongoing expansion of the penal apparatus of this local system. Contrary to the penal reform discourses that herald 'cost efficiency' in the introduction of this new penal form, then, Chapter Seven indicates that the expansion hypothesis is confirmed, suggesting that the EMS program in B.C. has or will result in 4 additional correctional costs and an expansion of the deviancy control system (cf. Chan and Ericson, 1981; Cohen, 1985; Foucault, 1979). The central thesis of this dissertation then, is that, contrary to claims arid suggestions by correctional administrators, this new penal policy contributes to the expansion and extension of the carceral form. Moreover, the rational management and control of carceral system expansion involves a concomitant management and control of the conditions under which house arrest and electronic monitoring is evaluated, a set of practices that will be described and analyzed. The content of this thesis means that this examination must also have a necessarily reflexive dimension, whereby I must pay analytic, descriptive, and critical attention to my own participation in program legitimation and in the expansion of punitive power. The concluding chapter will review the evidence about offender and system effects relating to this new punishment technique. It will also address questions pertaining to future research and methodological issues, as well as make recommendations about the utilization of this sanctioning option in light of its determinable efficacy at both individual and system levels. It is argued that the correctional policy of house arrest with electronic monitoring can be employed in a strategy of penal system reduction; however, this is posited as occurring only under circumscribed conditions of caution, and within a broadly-based criminal justice system consensus favouring a master strategy of paring down systems of criminal justice and corrections. It should be noted that the present investigation could have focused solely on the effects of this sanction on offenders and the methodological issues that the conduct of such research makes evident or implies. Focusing only on offender effects and methodological issues, however, would yield a very parochial examination of this new penal form. Rather than limiting the inquiry in this way, then, an effort has been made to account for the social processes of power, regulation, and knowledge production that have given sustenance and legitimacy to the public policy of this new penal form.3 5 Foucault's analytic contributions to the analysis of penal practices, power, and knowledge (1972, 1979, 1980, 1983) are influential in the present work. Part II of the dissertation takes up and develops in greater detail Foucault's social analytic conceptions for the study of electronic monitoring and house arrest. The analytic of power will be put into service to examine the political, bureaucratic, ideological, economic, technological, and social dimensions that could be included under Foucault's rubric 'disciplinary power' and its mechanisms (see Chapters Five to Seven). Indeed, throughout Part II Foucault's important contributions to the study of disciplinary power, discourse, and penal relations are evident. However, it is important to appreciate that the discourses relating to the penal policy of electronically monitored house arrest - reviewed in Chapter Two - are capable of being conceived as features and mechanisms of power relations as well. The initial examination (Part II, Chapter Five) of relevant issues in the social analysis of penality, as well as brief consideration of some recent social histories of punishment, will help to introduce the utility of Foucault's 'interpretive analytics' or genealogy of power (Dreyfus & Rabinow, 1983) and the ways in which it will be explicated in the present work. In beginning, it will help to provide a simple overview of what this new type of sanction entails. To do this I prevail upon the recently inaugurated B.C. program, which is to be the focus of the present research. In that program offenders are screened to determine whether they are suitable. Suitability is assessed by correctional staff through the use of screening criteria. As long as offenders have a telephone, are assessed acceptable by correctional staff according to program criteria (non-violent, no outstanding charges, under 90 day sentence, voluntary participation), and indicate a willingness to cooperate, then they are eligible to be taken into the program. Once 6 program suitability has been established, a curfew schedule is drawn up that permits offenders to attend work, or educational and/or rehabilitation programs where relevant. The individualized schedule is logged into a computer (and updated or changed as necessary). The curfew schedule gives offenders enough time to travel to and attend approved activities (such as work), as well as indicating exactly when confinement to residential space must be observed by them. An 'electronic bracelet' - a Radio Frequency transmitter - is attached to the offender that cannot be removed without tampers being detected. Communications equipment is hooked up to the offender's home telephone. In the fully automated systems of 'home monitoring' such as is being used in B.C., the ankle-worn bracelet and telephone-attached 'receiver-dialer' operate merely to confirm whether the offender is arriving home and leaving home according to his or her individualized curfew schedule. The electronic monitoring equipment can detect and communicate the presence of the offender's ankle-worn Radio Frequency transmitter only within a limited range of the receiving/sending equipment (approximately 150-200 feet from the receiver-dialer attached to the offender's telephone). This means that once the offender leaves home for work or any other activity approved by correctional personnel, the electronic monitoring is no longer functional. It only confirms or 'verifies' whether the offender has left or returned home according to the established curfew schedule. It does not detect alcohol or drug ingestion, nor does it indicate whether the offender has left early from work or is driving a car while legally prohibited. These latter activities can only be detected if corrections personnel directly contact offenders (or their workplace, educational, or rehabilitative supervisors), either by telephone or by attending their place of work, schooling, or rehabilitation. This verifies, through face-to-face observation, that the offender is in a known location, engaging in an approved activity. The regimen that is established means that the offender is provided with enough travel time to attend approved activities such as work, school, or alcohol and drug treatment sessions. Otherwise, the offender is to remain 'at home', which in the B.C. program means remaining restricted within the walls of his or her dwelling-place. If the offender leaves early or returns 7 home later than the curfew schedule provides, then correctional personnel are soon alerted by the monitoring system. Usually within minutes of an apparent violation, corrections staff telephone the offender's residence to verify whether the computer-indicated violation is correct or not because sometimes the electronic equipment makes false violation reports. If telephone contact confirms that equipment error is not responsible for the violation report produced by the computer, then a decision to apprehend the monitored offender can well be made. In the event that apprehension occurs, the offender will usually be detained in a detention facility - usually a jail or prison - until a revocation or disciplinary hearing determines how the infraction(s) are to be dealt with. The offender may be returned to the program of electronically monitored house arrest and get added time as a disciplinary measure, or he or she may be incarcerated in a correctional facility for the duration of the sentence. As mentioned above, one chief interest in the present research work is to determine how this sanction affects those subjected to it. This brief description of the curfew schedule indicates that as long as the offender complies with the curfew schedule by remaining confined at home, then he or she will be permitted to complete the sentence period on the program. There are obvious questions regarding how this form of confinement and surveillance affects offenders. The research findings reported in Chapter Four, then re-analyzed in Chapter Six, address the following kinds of questions. What does being sanctioned in this way mean to offenders? How do they cope with the kinds of restrictions that are entailed for them? Are such programs punishing? Do programs of electronically monitored house arrest constitute a deterrent to law-breaking? How intrusive is this penal practice for other persons not under penal sanction, but who nonetheless share the offender's life-space? Are there any untoward or debilitating effects experienced by offenders as a result of wearing the electronic 'bracelet'? Are there conditions under which such programs are (or might be) unduly harsh or harmful to offenders? Does this correctional method produce effects of social discipline? If rehabilitative effects are produced, in what way are these effects relevant, if at all, to the offence committed? 8 The actual interviewing that was done to produce the data base to answer these questions - to be reported in Chapter Four - began in January, 1988. A preliminary questionnaire schedule was pilot tested with five offenders before being revised into a final interview format. It is noteworthy that the ethnographic dimension of this empirical investigation could, in itself, provide a singular research focus; however, the ethnographic particulars have not been emphasized because primary attention is given to the findings at this juncture. A brief consideration of the ethnographic dimension now, however, permits a fuller appreciation of some of the conditions and circumstances encountered during the research itself. In most cases research interviews were conducted in offenders' homes or apartments and this afforded the opportunity to directly view their conditions of confinement. I found offenders to be cooperative, and in some instances, eager to discuss their experiences. Two offenders, in particular, were especially talkative, and these interviews took four hours to complete. It became evident that these two offenders felt lonely and isolated and had a great deal to disclose; so much so that the interview sessions came to take on the tone of therapy sessions in between the asking of research questions. These respondents sought to relieve themselves of the psychological and emotional distresses that had accumulated over the course of their confinement. The actual conditions of the interview varied greatly between respondents. In most cases offenders were interviewed alone, however in some cases others came and went during the course of the interview. In a few cases, others were present throughout the interview. In one case, many of the offenders family members insisted on being present during the interview and at certain points the researcher had to insist that father and uncle not answer questions for the respondent. In other cases where family members or friends were present, respondents took centre-stage and others' input was helpful in confirming or clarifying answers that were being given. Many respondents were as eager to ask questions of their own, as much as to give answers to the research questions. Understandably, offender-respondents sought to gain further information about the EMS program and its operation. They were particularly interested in 9 determining the range of the Radio Frequency bracelet they had to wear,4 in addition to other aspects of the program they were unclear about. It was obvious that some respondents were 'smart' about the intentions of the program. That is to say, some offenders articulated an awareness that correctional staff wanted 'successes' and that the program was to some extent predictable in that it took place within a bureaucracy, much like institutions they were familiar with. On the other hand, many offenders adopted a conformist attitude, and it was apparent that these individuals took correctional staff at their word in regard to the program, e.g., that offender spot checks could occur anytime, even though these never occurred after 11 PM because of staff scheduling. One particularly interesting feature of the EMS program arises from the fact that the practices of punitive sanction are moved into offenders' homes and workplaces. For this reason, I was particularly attentive to how much information offenders provided to others about their participation in the program. Most offenders had 'significant others' or other persons from whom they witheld information about their program status. Program concealment tended to be problematic for them to the extent to which they had contact with those persons. For example, I encountered many offenders who wished to prevent their parents from knowing about their conviction and EMS program status. If onty intermittent contact was had with parents and the sentence length was short, then it became relatively easy to conceal their program status. However, if sentence length was longer and more frequent contact was the norm, then offenders either had to face revelation or adopt duplicitous methods in order to maintain significant others' ignorance. In one extreme case, a mother of two boys felt so ashamed of her criminal status - as signified by the electronic bracelet - that she misled her young sons into believing that the bracelet was a special communications device for her work with multiple sclerosis patients. Needless to say, I sought to assist in whatever concealment appeared to be necessary. This was something that cropped up from time-to-time when interviews were conducted in places of work or when others entered the interview situation who may have fit into that class of persons from whom the offender wished to conceal his or her program status. Indeed, I became aware of this critical dimension early in the research process, when attempting to contact offenders by phone to explain the research and arrange an interview time. It became apparent that some offenders had the assistance of others in screening phone calls and in providing excuses concerning why the call could not be taken at present. There are also many encounters with program staff that shed light on the apparent intention to elicit support and collaboration in establishing program 'success'. When first negotiating research access, for example, I presented the research proposal before the citizens' Advisory Committee. A couple of committee members sought to assist me in obtaining maximum research access; this meaning that I would be permitted to attend all Advisory Committee meetings. To that end, a heated and vigorous discussion arose in the meeting around the question of researcher access to the Advisory Committee meetings. Some committee members argued that this was a decision that they, as a committee, ought to decide. During the meeting itself, the committee's ability to render this decision was formulated by some as being a kind of litmus test of its supposed 'independence' from the Corrections Branch. No decison was taken at the time. A few days later when I met with the Pilot Project Director to conclude the research contract agreement (see Appendix I), I was informed that the prospect of doing the research was in grave doubt because of what had transpired at the Advisory Committee meeting. I reassured the Pilot Project Director that I was not responsible for what had occurred in the meeting and that I was willing to cooperate with the conditions we had agreed about earlier. The fundamental point here was that my regular attendance at Advisory Committee meetings was considered to be a 'conflict of interest', something that puzzled me at the time, but which I dared not query further for fear of being perceived as uncooperative. Subsequently, I attended about half of the Advisory Committee meetings at the discretion of the Pilot Project Director. This had the effect of limiting the possibility of an overview perspective, of structuring access to important program summary information via 11 the Pilot Project Director, and of encouraging the view that privilege and favour were being bestowed when the Director initiated an invitation to attend an Advisory Committee meeting. It was evident in other ways that Pilot Project staff were inviting my collaboration in 'helping to make the program a success'. The Pilot Project Director asked if I would attend plenary sessions with judges in order to describe the research results: This invitation I initially accepted, believing that it would help to sustain positive relations with the Director. However, I later declined this invitation after discussions with my research supervisor, who persuaded me that this would compromise my neutrality. From time-to-time correctional staff attached to the program would underscore the importance of interviewing particular offenders who presented unique or interesting circumstances corrections personnel thought I should know about. These offenders were invariably enthusiastic supporters of the program. Program staff were generally very helpful in assisting the research, apart from the subtle and not-so-subtle ways in which program supportiveness was effected. What many of these ethnographic observations suggest is that there are various ways -both local and more general and pervasive - in which research outcomes are structured and influenced. Moreover, this consideration of the qualitative realities of social conduct and experience illuminates some of the conditions that are obscured within a quantitatively oriented research enterprise. The ethnographic dimension also discloses some of the subtle and unique ways in which offenders react and adapt to this sanction, as well as the overall context of supportiveness and collaboration that is sought by program personnel. Ethnographic particulars also indicate that this kind of sanction affects social conduct and experience in ways that are not susceptible to simplistic generalization. These particulars indicate that 'variables' exhibit a gestalt-like form, inasmuch as the conditions and circumstances for any particular offender are unique and contingent. 12 It is important to consider the development and use of house arrest and electronic monitoring as a penal form, prior to addressing the research questions of interest which focus on the B.C. EMS program. Chapter Two explores the institutional development and use of the practices of electronic monitoring and house arrest, as well as proposing some conceptual tools for their analysis. This literature review permits the developments in B.C. to be viewed within a wider criminal justice and correctional purview. The inaugural use of electronically monitored home confinement was in the state of New Mexico in 1983 (Corrections Magazine, 1983; Gable, 1986; Timko, 1986).5 'Electronic monitoring', 'electronic monitoring surveillance' or 'telemonitoring' (Gable, 1986) - hereafter referred to as EM - is to be understood (Chapter Two) as an informational capability deployed within the social organization of Information Technology (IT) and the corresponding practices of Information Work (IW) (cf. Webster & Robins, 1981; Newman & Newman, 1985). This deployment takes place within correctional and penal practices and administration. Within this framework, I conceive 'information' as the reduction of uncertainty6 (cf. Ashby, 1956). Current uses of EM in different home confinement or house arrest programs indicate that the chief purpose served by EM is the 'reduction of uncertainty' with respect to offenders' curfew compliance. Thus far, EM has been used in various ways within the U.S. criminal justice system (in federal, state, county, and city programs) - in widely varying organizational settings designated as 'alternatives to incarceration' - to permit verification of offender compliance with judicially or administratively mandated curfew orders constituting the home confinement component of such programs. Understanding EM as the production of 'information' (within the organizational contexts of house arrest or other community supervision programs), is important to any consideration of how 13 this sanction has developed historically, as well as to understanding how different forms of punishment employing EM affect offenders and their social relations with others. One way of conceiving EM within current criminal justice system uses is to propose that as 'information capability', EM automates the method of verifying house arrest compliance.1 EM must be clearly understood as distinct from programs of house arrest; however, as Schmidt and Curtis (1987:141) point out: '[t]he literature on home incarceration or house arrest is closely related to electronic surveillance (what I am referring to as EM) because the two are often related programmatically' (see also, Lilly et al., 1987:363).8 Blomberg et al. (1987) predict that 'electronic surveillance strategies will likely proliferate' in the years ahead since '[t]here are many potential, if not proven, uses and objectives for electronic surveillance in the criminal justice system, in addition to home confinement' (Ibid.: 174, see Blomberg et al., Ibid.: 174-6 for examples of other uses of EM). 9 During initial introduction, however, attention has been focused on uses of EM in programs of home confinement. In this regard, both scholars (e.g. Ball et al., 1988) and professional public policy advocates and research consultants in various jurisdictions of American criminal justice organization (e.g., Petersilia, 1987a; Vaughn, 1987; Friel, Vaughn & del Carmen, 1987) have recommended continued development and deployment of house arrest programs employing EM. Within 'social control talk' (Cohen, 1983), the term home confinement has various other analogous usages: 'home incarceration', 'house arrest', 'home detention' (cf. Ball et al., 1988). The latter scholars caution that [t]his term is often used very loosely, and it is probably preferable to refer to this correctional policy alternative as home confinement, a term that has the virtue of covering more specific practices, such as home detention (in which the residence is used as a detention facility) and home incarceration (in which the residence replaces a jail or prison as a place of incarceration). The term house arrest tends to imply police action without much in the way of judicial due process. Nevertheless, the term may be appropriate in a nontechnical sense because it offers a means of communicating the policy to the general public, a starting point in an effort to communicate more precisely the exact nature of this correctional alternative (Ibid.: 21).10 14 As previously indicated, nearly all of these uses, in present contexts of criminal justice system organization at least, make reference to programmatic developments involving the enforcement of curfew restrictions on various classes of offenders who have undergone either formal or informal 'risk classification' or assessment for their prospects of being cooperative and/or 'successful' in EM programs (cf. Petersilia, 1986:55). For purposes of consistency and clarity I will follow Ball et al's usage, which entails referring to the correctional practice of curfew supervision and spatial/mobility/normative restrictions associated therewith as home confinement or house arrest (cf. Hofer and Meierhoefer, 1987). It should be born in mind, however, that the use of EM to monitor curfew compliance, as noted above, in no way exhausts the potential or possible uses - the functional extension of EM - to cover the 'reduction of uncertainty' with respect to other forms of individualizing knowledge pertaining to the control and management of offenders. Indeed EM is being employed on a limited basis,' apparently, to monitor other conditions of community supervision (such as alcohol/drug monitoring and tracking which permits extra-residential monitoring: see Journal of Offender Monitoring). These potential uses would appear to hinge on the extent to which prisoners' rights are diminished through legislative reform and/or judicial precedent and practice11, and on the cost-effectiveness of deploying extant information technologies to accomplish more fine-grained effects of surveillance.12 Continued program development efforts indicate that the institutional policy of house arrest (employing EM) 'appears to possess all the attributes deemed crucial by the National Advisory Commission on Criminal Justice Standards and Goals for the Criminal Justice System (1973) in determining the actual expectation for adoption of a new criminal or juvenile alternative' (Ball et al., 1988:137). This suggests there will be a continuation of support for programs since they meet a wide range of criteria of operational, economic, political, and social significance (cf. Chan and Ericson, 1981). 15 House arrest and electronic monitoring are correctional policies that are believed to hold much promise in the future of 'alternatives' options in correctional programming (cf. Ball et al., 1988; Petersilia, 1987a). At present, however, caution in program development and conservatism in offender selection practices appear to be the hallmarks of this early phase of program development for the house arrest and EM options. While it seems fairly clear that house arrest, in addition to the use of EM, are expanding - both in terms of new programs and quantitative numbers of offenders being processed - it is not yet clear what the extent of future expansion will be, or how EM might also expand functionally to cover other purposes in addition to verifying location compliance within house arrest programs. With a few exceptions (see below) all program development thus far has taken place in the U.S., though criminal justice officials from other nations appear interested and are perhaps about to go the pilot project route as well. For example, criminal justice policy-makers at the British Home Office, while initially disapproving of EM (or 'tagging' as it is termed in Britain) (see The Economist, 1985), now view house arrest and electronic monitoring ('punishment in the community') as a possibly viable sentencing option (The Economist, 1988; Parliamentary Command Paper #424, 1988).13 Fox (1987:132) reports the release of a discussion paper (April, 1987) by the Victoria Sentencing Committee, which mentions possible use of EM in Australia. The B.C. EMS program has achieved an initial foothold and is now expanding (Vancouver Sun, Sept. 7, 1989), and the province of Ontario is currently pilot testing EM. As reported in Chapter Three a pilot project aimed at establishing a viable EM program was inaugurated in spring, 1987, by the Ministry of Solicitor General14 (Corrections Branch) in the province of British Columbia. British Columbia was the first provincial jurisdiction in Canada to make use of EM with house arrest and is presently in the post-pilot project phase of program development. Previous to the EMS program, the Corrections Branch had no stand-alone home confinement program such as is in place in the state of Florida. Hence, both of these methods of 16 surveillance (EM) and control (house arrest) are historically new to this local criminal justice system. It was during the period of the pilot project that I was able to interview offender/participants in order to learn how the EMS Pilot Project program had affected them in different ways. In addition to directly interviewing offenders in this particular (pilot project) program, I was also able to observe and interview the principal criminal justice system actors responsible - within the Corrections Branch - for organizing and implementing this new correctional technique in their jurisdiction. As technique, EM combines with home confinement and allows the achievement of more intensive forms of surveillance and social control than would be economically feasible in unenhanced forms of probation supervision or house arrest (Petersilia, 1987a:82-4; John, 1987). EM is a strategic deployment of offenders' and controllers' relationship of communication (Foucault, 1983), which can permit a highly flexible, dynamic, and continuous verification of curfew adherence (as well as other court ordered supervision guidelines). Indeed, that such effects are now made possible with the use of EM, is precisely why it is important and relevant to take the apparent detour in Chapter Two of examining the significance of this new deployment of 'information'. This historically recent possibility for the (social) relationship of communication (cf. Meyrowitz, 1985) serves as a basis for various discursive strategies within the correctional apparatus that aim to secure its adoption within the criminal justice domain in the first place: for example, program administrators can now make a case for having achieved '