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March 2015

Tuesday 3rd

Friday 13th

CEP - Colloquium: Limits to the growth of EM?

Zeger van Hee, Oude Valk, Faculty of Law, Tiensestraat 41, Leuven, Belgium
In recent years electronic monitoring (EM) has grown exponentially in Belgium. On a daily basis approximately 2000 persons – most of them convicted for a crime but also suspects awaiting trial – are being monitored by means of anklet bracelets, voice recognition and GPS-technology. Moreover, in the future EM will become a stand-alone sanction.

EM entered the Belgian criminal justice system in the late 1990s against the background of a growing prison population and the problems this causes for prison management and inmates’ living conditions. In more recent years it has also been advocated as a panacea to fight the so-called impunity of the criminal justice system. Since its early inception EM has been embraced by policy makers across the globe for its potential to reduce the prison population and solve problems of overcrowding, to fight impunity, to transform and re-integrate offenders, to reduce the costs of punishment, etc.

Reflection on the limits and the side-effects of EM, however, has been scarce and many of the more contentious aspects of such monitoring technology are in need of further reflection, debate and research, in particular in view of the growth of EM.

Participation is free of charge but please register before 6 March 2015 at

Organisation Leuven Institute of Criminology (LINC), research line ‘Punishment and control’. This colloquium takes place within the framework of ‘Wetenschap en Ethiek’, an initiative coordinated by the Overlegcentrum voor Ethiek.

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