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At the end of 2023, the number of participants in Electronic Monitoring (EM) programs in Europe, North America, and Latin America was approximately 64,000; 518,000; and 130,000, respectively.

The recent findings outlining the market for EM offenders was released by Berg Insight, the leading IoT market research provider. The total number of EM program participants in 2023 was 200,000 in Europe; 880,000 in North America; and 296,000 in Latin America.

According to Berg Insight, the number of simultaneous participants will increase to 94,000 in Europe; 680,000 in North America; and 239,000 in Latin America by the end of 2028. The market value in 2023 was USD 226 million in Europe, USD 1.3 billion in North America, and USD 76 million in Latin America. The total market value in the three regions is expected to increase at a CAGR of 7.2%, from USD 1.6 billion in 2023 to USD 2.3 billion in 2028.

The EM Landscape

Electronic monitoring (EM) programs originated in the US during the early 1980s and have since become a widely adopted alternative to detention in Europe, North America, and select Latin American countries. These programs aim to enhance offender accountability, reduce recidivism rates, and bolster public safety by supplementing traditional methods of community supervision. Stakeholders such as policymakers, corrections authorities, and private sector service providers have advocated for expanded EM programs to lower overall correctional system costs and address prison overcrowding. EM technologies primarily utilize Radio Frequency (RF) and GPS tracking systems, with RF being prevalent in Europe and GPS gaining popularity in many countries.

In the US, Brazil, and other Latin American nations, GPS-based solutions are predominantly used. Various private companies are involved in EM provision, offering equipment development, supply, installation, monitoring services, and additional support. Notable providers include US-based BI Inc. (GEO Group), Allied Universal Electronic Monitoring, Sentinel Offender Services, SCRAM Systems, Securus Technologies, Shadowtrack, and Track Group. As well as UK-based Buddi, Israel-based SuperCom, Poland-based Enigma (COMP), Switzerland-based GEOSATIS; and Brazil-based Spacecom and Synergye.

Modern Device Capabilities

“The adoption and use of electronic monitoring solutions in the criminal justice sector is increasing as new products and solutions are being introduced that enable additional use cases,” said Martin Bäckman, Principal Analyst at Berg Insight.

Newly introduced wrist-worn GPS devices are alleviating the stigma linked to ankle bracelets and are suitable for low-risk offenders. Moreover, there's a rising trend in integrating GPS tracking with alcohol monitoring in EM programs. Recent advancements in tracking technology and software enable the establishment of dynamic inclusion and exclusion zones, enhancing protection for victims of domestic violence against perpetrators. Victim protection solutions are increasingly integrated into EM programs across various countries and jurisdictions.

“EM programmes are expected to increase in size in the next few years as prison overcrowding and rising incarceration costs continue to impose major challenges for many jurisdictions in Europe and the Americas,” Bäckman added.