Under Surveillance: Does Global Positioning System (GPS) Monitoring of Offenders Really Work and What Does the Dynamic Risk Assessment Offender Re-Entry (DRAOR) Really Tell Us?
Appropriate supervision and risk assessments are critical in offender management, but require effective tools and accurate risk assessments to guide decisions and interventions appropriately. This research sought to investigate the effectiveness of Global Positioning System (GPS) monitoring in preventing re-offending, whilst considering the impact of GPS monitoring on the offender’s psychological and emotional wellbeing. The second aim was to evaluate the utility of the Dynamic Risk Assessment Offender Re-entry (DRAOR) in predicting future re-offending and examining whether such predictions were different in a matched sample of GPS monitored offenders (n = 220) versus non-GPS monitored (n =219) over a 24-month follow-up period. All participants were male offenders released from prison within New Zealand. The results showed statistically significant differences for ‘non-violent’ and ‘violent’ re-offending rates, with GPS monitoring being associated with lower rates of recidivism. The findings demonstrated that the DRAOR may be better at predicting violent and general recidivism, rather than technical violations and overall re-offending in this sample. There was no evidence of increased psychological distress in those men subject to GPS monitoring. The DRAOR’s utility in predicting re-offending came primarily from the Stable scale, demonstrating the highest predictive accuracy for re-offending when compared to the Acute and Protective scales. The final assessment predicted re-offending better than the initial assessment. The amount of change on the DRAOR scores was dependent on the individual’s re-offence status, in that the scores had decreased more substantially for those who did not re-offend compared to those who did, demonstrating the value in monitoring risk. However, the DRAOR’s utility in predicting future re-offending was essentially identical across GPS and non-GPS monitored groups.
Advisor: Sellbom, Martin; Gilmore, Fairleigh
Degree Name: Master of Arts
Degree Discipline: Psychology
Publisher: University of Otago
Keywords: Electronic Monitoring; GPS; Offenders; DRAOR; Risk Assessments; New Zealand
Research Type: Thesis