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Electronic Monitoring of Nonviolent Convicted Felons: An Experiment in Home Detention in Marion County, Indiana, 1986-1988 (ICPSR 9587)

Version Date: Jan 12, 2006 View help for published

Principal Investigator(s): View help for Principal Investigator(s)
Terry L. Baumer; Robert I. Mendelsohn

Version V1

The purpose of the study was to provide information about home detention monitoring systems and to evaluate their effectiveness. The principal investigators sought to determine (1) whether electronic monitoring systems relieved some of the burdens associated with manual monitoring of home detention, such as making telephone calls and field visits, (2) how home detention affected the lifestyles of offenders, (3) whether the methods of monitoring influenced offender behavior during the program, (4) how electronic monitoring differed from manual monitoring in terms of supervision of the offenders, (5) how offenders reacted to electronic monitoring, (6) how offenders' families reacted to electronic monitoring, and (7) whether the method of monitoring influenced the probability of an arrest or subsequent contact with the criminal justice system after release from the program. Part 1 contains demographic information, such as age, race, marital status, number of children, living arrangements, employment, and education for each offender. Also included is information on the offense leading to the current case, including numbers and types of charges and convictions for both felonies and misdemeanors, recommendations and judicial disposition for the current case, and information on the criminal history of the offender. Part 2 contains data from the intake interview with the offender, such as information on the offender's family, living arrangements, education, employment, past alcohol and drug use, and expectations for the home detention program and monitoring procedures. Part 3 contains information collected in the exit interview and is similar in content to Part 2. Part 4 contains information on the program delivery (type of release from the program, violations of the program, results of tests for alcohol and drug use, errand time, payment, contacts with offenders, and the characteristics and results of the contacts with electronically monitored offenders). Part 5 is a check of criminal histories of offenders for at least one year after their release from the program.

Baumer, Terry L., and Mendelsohn, Robert I. Electronic Monitoring of Nonviolent Convicted Felons:  An Experiment in Home Detention in Marion County, Indiana, 1986-1988. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2006-01-12.

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United States Department of Justice. Office of Justice Programs. National Institute of Justice (86-IJ-CX-0041)
1986-11 -- 1988-12
1986-11 -- 1989-12

This study employed a randomized field experiment design in which 154 offenders participated in a program of home detention as a condition of their probation. Offenders eligible for the experiment were those who had been charged with nonviolent suspendable felonies or misdemeanors, had a median length of sentence of 180 days, were clients of the Marion County Community Corrections Agency, had suspended sentences assigned to home detention as a condition of probation, and had a telephone. The 154 offenders were randomly assigned to one of two methods of monitoring: half were monitored manually through a system of telephone calls and field contacts, and half were monitored electronically with a "programmed" system of contacts.

Offenders on probation in Marion County, Indiana.

personal interviews, probationary records of the Marion County Probation Department, Marion County Community Correction records, and Indianapolis Police Department records

survey data and event/transaction data, experimental data


2018-02-15 The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented. The previous citation was:
  • Baumer, Terry L., and Robert I. Mendelsohn. ELECTRONIC MONITORING OF NONVIOLENT CONVICTED FELONS: AN EXPERIMENT IN HOME DETENTION IN MARION COUNTY, INDIANA, 1986-1988. Indianapolis, IN: Indiana University, School of Public and Environmental Affairs [producer], 1990. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 1991.

2006-01-12 All files were removed from dataset 6 and flagged as study-level files, so that they will accompany all downloads.


  • The public-use data files in this collection are available for access by the general public. Access does not require affiliation with an ICPSR member institution.

  • The citation of this study may have changed due to the new version control system that has been implemented.
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This dataset is maintained and distributed by the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD), the criminal justice archive within ICPSR. NACJD is primarily sponsored by three agencies within the U.S. Department of Justice: the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.