Analyzing Candidates for Home Electronic Incarceration on Return-to-Custody Rates for Inmates; Efficacy and Ethicality of Home Electronic Incarceration for Regional Jails

Sydnor, Sally, School of Engineering and Applied Science, University of Virginia
White, Preston, EN-CEE, University of Virginia
Smith, Michael, EN-CEE, University of Virginia
Alonzi, Loreto, DS-Faculty Affairs, University of Virginia
Foley, Rider, EN-Engineering and Society, University of Virginia

This capstone research addresses a problem the Charlottesville-Albemarle judicial system and other related systems have concerning the efficacy surrounding Home Electronic Incarceration (HEI) as a solution to mass incarceration. The study hopes to evaluate HEI devices’, also known as ankle monitors, impact on reducing incarceration rates, improving rehabilitation outcomes, and addressing ethical concerns with the criminal justice system.

It is important to consider the human and social dimensions of this technology because of the impacts HEI could or could not have on individuals within the criminal justice system, governmental policies, community dynamics, as well as ethical considerations. Thomas Hughes's theory of technological momentum and Angela Davis’s ethical framework for prison reform were used to guide the problem-solving approach and implications of HEI adoption.

This research employed a qualitative approach, involving stakeholder interviews, data collection from relevant agencies and institutions, and ethical analysis of HEI. The study uncovered insights into the societal impacts of HEI implementation, including its effects on rehabilitation, recidivism rates, and community integration.

The research assessed that HEI is an effective and ethical solution to reducing incarceration rates, mitigating overcrowding in correctional facilities, and promoting successful reintegration into society. Additionally, the study identified other ethical considerations surrounding HEI implementation, including issues of gender and abuse, quality of life, and equity within the criminal justice system.

Implications of this thesis extend beyond the immediate context of the Charlottesville-Albemarle judicial system, informing broader discussions on criminal justice reform, technological innovation, and social responsibility. By critically examining the intersection of technology and society within the realm of criminal justice, this research aims to contribute to more informed policymaking and promote equitable and effective solutions to mass incarceration.

BS (Bachelor of Science)
Home Electronic Incarceration, Judicial System, Prison Reform, Incarceration, Ankle Monitoring

School of Engineering and Applied Science

Bachelor of Science in Systems Engineering

Technical Advisor: Michael Smith, Preston White, Loreto Alonzi

STS Advisor: Rider Foley

Technical Team Members: Stella Banino, George Boulos, Christian Craft, Laura Phillips

Issued Date: