Oklahoma Department of Corrections

Guilty And Charged
10:34 pm
Sat May 24, 2014

The Evolution Of Electronic Monitoring Devices

In this photo from the mid-1960s, Kirk Gable, a co-founder of the electronic monitoring belt, uses war surplus missile-tracking equipment to track young adult offenders who are wearing the first electronic monitoring devices.
Courtesy of Robert Gable

Nearly 50 years since it was first designed by social psychology students at Harvard, the electronic monitoring device has become a significant part of the criminal justice system. More popularly associated with law-breaking celebrities like Paris Hilton or Martha Stewart, the electronic ankle bracelet has been used to track hundreds of thousands of sex offenders, DUI offenders, people free on bail and others.

But its current use is not quite what its inventors had in mind.

Read more