Electronic monitoring in Belgium : a penological analysis of current and future orientations

  • Kristel Beyens (Criminology Department, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Belgium, Kristel.Beyens@vub.ac.be)
  • Marijke Roosen (Member of the Department of Criminology and the research group Crime & Society (CRiS), Penality & Society at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel (Free University Brussels), Belgium.)

Electronic monitoring was introduced nationwide in Belgium in 2000 and has expanded ever
since. Currently important changes are taking place, radically transforming its operation
and nature. The aim of this article is to describe and critically discuss the current shift in EM
discourses and practices in Belgium from a penological perspective. We start with a brief
sketch of the historical evolution of EM, explaining the penal and political context in which
EM emerged and was further established, what goals it was supposed to meet and how these
goals and practices shifted. With the new regulations of 2012 and 2013, both the rationale
and the technology of EM have further evolved. These recent evolutions will be illustrated
and situated in a consideration of the wider transformation of punishment in the community.

Keywords: Electronic Monitoring, GPS, Penology, Community sanctions, Penal policies

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