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Between convict and ward: the experiences of people living with offenders subject to electronic monitoring


Crime, Law and Social Change

Published online on


While the people who live with offenders who have been sentenced to electronic monitoring sometimes have to consent to the sanction, and the measure undoubtedly impacts their life and position, their experience has not received much attention from policymakers or in research. This paper analyzes the experience of 30 co-residents of offenders who are being electronically monitored. It finds that their experience is a balance between two competing roles: a “convict” and a “controller”. On the one hand, co-residents report changes in their daily and social life that make them feel as if they are also being punished. On the other hand, they see themselves as active in the administration of the punishment, becoming assistants, social workers and controllers of the electronic monitoring sanction and taking up roles as private individuals that were previously fulfilled by government.