Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Informing the Use of GPS Monitoring in Pretrial Probationary Supervision: A Process and Impact Assessment
by Clark-Moorman, Kyleigh, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts Lowell, 2020, 225; 27958526
Abstract (Summary)

Electronic monitoring as a tool for pretrial probationary supervision is used in numerous jurisdictions throughout the United States, despite few rigorous empirical analyses regarding its effectiveness and associated collateral consequences. This study addressed these gaps in the literature by conducting a process and impact assessment of the use of pretrial probationary supervision using GPS monitoring, in partnership with the Massachusetts Probation Service (MPS). Specifically, this study utilized an official, record-based dataset of those on pretrial probation from 2014 as well as interview data from 8 individuals on pretrial probation in winter 2018 to analyze who was assigned to GPS, how rates and timing of rearraignment (as a proxy for rearrest) varied for those monitored compared to those who were not, what factors influenced rearraignment, and how those on pretrial probation viewed the sanction.

The quantitative data were explored using a series of statistical analyses to determine how individual characteristics influenced assignment to GPS while controlling for court differences and a series of survival analyses to determine how rates and timing of failure (rearraignment) varied between groups, accounting for single and recurrent events while controlling for court differences. Possible selection bias of this quasi-experimental design was addressed by comparing various propensity score methods, considering defendant characteristics that should have predicted assignment to GPS. The qualitative data were explored using thematic analysis, focused on the defendant experience on pretrial probation, especially as it related to deterrence, employment, and interpersonal relationships.

Results suggest that: 1. Assignment to GPS during pretrial probation was associated with legal and extralegal factors; 2. The relationship between GPS and rearraignment was complex. Those assigned to GPS had a higher risk of rearraignment when considering the pretrial period only. However, when including the entire study period, rearraignment risk was lower for those on GPS relative to when they were taken off of GPS, whereas pretrial probation itself was associated with an increased risk of rearraignment. 3. Those on pretrial probation identified several positives and negatives of supervision, some of which may have ultimately impacted their compliance and success.

These findings indicate that while GPS can incapacitate individuals during monitoring, it may not provide lasting deterrence and may impart negative collateral consequences on individuals, especially on employment. Ultimately, these observed outcomes show that policymakers should assess the assignment and use of pretrial probation and GPS, carefully considering the integration of pretrial risk assessments, how GPS monitoring can be used most effectively in the pretrial period, and the length of pretrial supervision.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Rydberg, Jason
Commitee: Byrne, James M., Huebner, Beth M., Kras, Kimberly R.
School: University of Massachusetts Lowell
Department: Criminology & Justice Studies
School Location: United States -- Massachusetts
Source: DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Criminology
Keywords: Community supervision, GPS monitoring, Pretrial probation, Pretrial release, Propensity scores, Survival analysis
Publication Number: 27958526
ISBN: 9798645478186
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