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The origins of electronic monitoring can be traced back to the U.S. military, which sought to provide personal tracking units for its ground troops in much the same manner as it did for vehicles; this would permit commanders to accurately know the dispositions of their troops and make timely and accurate decisions. Although electronic monitoring of individuals, such as with wrist and ankle monitoring devices, has been an activity within many criminal justice systems since the 1970s, and is used in more than 20 states, it is a relative newcomer to the interrelated fields of surveillance and security studies.

The use of wrist or ankle monitoring devices is generally referred to as electronic monitoring in North America and electronic tagging in Europe when used to ...

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