Surveillance as casework: supervising domestic violence defendants with GPS technology

Peter R. Ibarra, Oren M. Gur, Edna Erez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Academic discussion about surveillance tends to emphasize its proliferation, ubiquity, and impact on society, while neglecting to consider the continued relevance of traditional approaches to human supervision, an oversight insofar as surveillance is organized through practices embedded in justice system-based casework. Drawing from a multi-site study of pretrial personnel utilizing global positioning system (GPS) technology for domestic violence cases in the U.S., a comparative analysis is offered to illustrate how the handling of a “problem population” varies across community corrections agencies as they implement surveillance regimes. In particular, the study finds that surveillance styles reflect whether an agency is directed toward crime control and risk management, providing treatment and assistance, or observing due process. These programmatic thrusts are expressed in how officers interact with offenders as cases, both directly and remotely. In contrast to the ambient monitoring of environments and populations through data-banking technologies, the interactive surveillance styles described in the present study highlight the role of casework in surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)417-444
Number of pages28
JournalCrime, Law and Social Change
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • General Social Sciences
  • Law


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