Criminal Justice Trends North of Border: GPS and Community Corrections Practices in Canada

In Canada, recent trends in criminal justice have seen a notable shift towards the use of electronic monitoring and other community corrections policies as alternatives to traditional incarceration. Electronic monitoring, commonly known as ankle bracelets or GPS tracking devices, has emerged as a widely used tool in the supervision of offenders, allowing authorities to monitor their movements while they serve their sentences in the community.

One significant aspect of Canada’s approach to electronic monitoring is its emphasis on promoting rehabilitation and reintegration. Rather than solely relying on incarceration, Canadian authorities prioritize community-based corrections programs aimed at addressing the underlying factors contributing to criminal behavior (Public Safety Canada, 2020). By incorporating electronic monitoring into these programs, offenders can maintain ties to their families and communities while still being held accountable for their actions.

Moreover, Canada’s use of electronic monitoring reflects a broader trend towards evidence-based practices and risk assessment in criminal justice. Research has shown that properly implemented electronic monitoring can effectively reduce recidivism rates and enhance public safety (Latessa & Smith, 2011). By leveraging technology and data-driven approaches, Canadian authorities can make informed decisions about the supervision and treatment of offenders, maximizing the effectiveness of community corrections policies.

In addition to electronic monitoring, Canada has implemented various other community corrections policies aimed at promoting rehabilitation and reducing reliance on incarceration. These include diversion programs, restorative justice initiatives, and halfway houses, which provide support and supervision to offenders transitioning back into society (Public Safety Canada, 2020). By offering alternatives to imprisonment and addressing the root causes of criminal behavior, Canada aims to create a more equitable and effective criminal justice system.

In conclusion, Canada’s criminal justice trends highlight a growing emphasis on community-based corrections policies, including the widespread use of electronic monitoring. By prioritizing rehabilitation and reintegration, leveraging evidence-based practices, and embracing innovative approaches, Canada strives to achieve a fair and effective justice system that enhances public safety and promotes positive outcomes for offenders.


– Public Safety Canada. (2020). Community Corrections. Government of Canada.

– Latessa, E. J., & Smith, P. (2011). What works (and doesn’t) in reducing recidivism. Washington, DC: National Institute of Justice.

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