Berg Insight has released new findings on the market for Electronic Monitoring (EM) of offenders.
The number of participants in EM programmes on a daily basis in Europe, North America and Latin America amounted to about 46 000, 282 000 and 71 000 respectively during 2020.
The market value in 2020 reached $823-million in North America, $189-million in Europe and $54-million in Latin America. The market value in the three regions together is forecasted to grow by a CAGR of 7,9%, from $1,1-billion in 2020 to reach $1,6-billion in 2025.
Electronic monitoring (EM) programmes were first introduced in the US in the early 1980s. Today, EM is an established alternative to detention across Europe and North America and in some Latin American countries.
The aim of EM programmes is to increase offender accountability, reduce recidivism rates and enhance public safety by providing an additional tool that complements traditional methods of community supervision.
Policy makers, corrections authorities and private sector service providers advocate for extended EM programmes to reduce total correctional system costs and reduce the prison population.
There are two dominant technologies used for electronic monitoring – Radio Frequency (RF) and GPS. RF-based systems are today the most common type of solution in most European countries. In the US, Brazil and other countries in Latin America, GPS-based solutions are more common.
A number of private companies are involved in supplying and installing equipment, providing monitoring as well as undertaking enforcement. Leading providers of EM equipment and services include US-based BI (GEO Group), Alcohol Monitoring Systems, Securus Technologies, Track Group, Sentinel Offender Services and Sierra Wireless; UK-based Buddi and G4S (Allied Universal); Israel-based Attenti and SuperCom; and Brazil-based Spacecom and Synergye.
The electronic offender monitoring market is highly affected by political and societal changes. In the first half of 2020, when the Covid-19 pandemic broke out, several jurisdictions in the US and Europe released thousands of non-violent offenders from prisons with electronic monitoring equipment.
“The pandemic has acted as a catalyst for new and extended EM programmes,” says Martin Backman, senior analyst at Berg Insight.
He adds that the justice system in many countries is now more inclined towards using new technologies to fight the issues of overcrowding and rising costs of incarceration. “Smartphone-based and smartwatch-like EM solutions for low-risk offenders are gaining traction, along with a continued rising demand for traditional EM solutions.”