Milwaukee County Electronic Monitoring of Juvenile Defendants Project

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Milwaukee County Electronic Monitoring of Juvenile Defendants Project

Dr. Robert Smith, Marquette University

Dr. Aaron Schutz, University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee

Dr. Darren Wheelock, Marquette University

Dr. Patrick Lowry, Virginia Commonwealth University

Ms. Kathryn Storm, Marquette University

Research Summary: The Expansion of Electronic Monitoring in Milwaukee County Electronic monitoring has witnessed expanded use nationally as a reform effort to decrease the numbers of youth held in detention facilities. This project examines that development here in Milwaukee County with the following question guiding the study: How has the expansion of electronic monitoring reshaped the carceral landscape for youth in Milwaukee County? To answer this question the study includes unprecedented access to juvenile records, documents, and data for the Milwaukee County juvenile justice system. We also have information on the use of YASI risk assessment tool, which is employed extensively by those working in the juvenile justice system. The EM team will begin cleaning, managing and analyzing these data during the summer of 2022 with the goal of publishing several scholarly articles, research reports and policy recommendations over the next few years.

Research Questions

What are the overarching goals and reasons for applying electronic monitoring toward youth?

What are the criteria for determining when to use electronic monitoring?

How does Milwaukee County classify electronic monitoring use with youth? (Prevention, early intervention...etc.)

What is the average length of time youth spend on electronic monitoring, pre disposition and post disposition?

What are the restrictions imposed on youth on electronic monitoring?

How are these restrictions determined?

How are violations of electronic monitoring restrictions determined?

Do sanctions for similar violations vary between youth?

How is the effectiveness of electronic monitoring use assessed?

How effective is it given these understandings of effectiveness?

Are there specific populations at greater risk of being placed on EM as part of their sentence?

How do demographic factors interact with legal factors in determining who is at greatest risk of EM?

What is the spatial distribution of juvenile defendants who are placed on EM?

What is the role of the YASI (a juvenile risk assessment tool) in determining risk? Is it a valid risk assessment tool for the Milwaukee juvenile population?

How do demographic and legal factors impact YASI scores in Milwaukee County?

What domains of the YASI (i.e., legal, drugs and alcohol, attitudes, etc.) are the strongest predictors of the EM decision?

Do race group differences exist in the predictive validity of overall static and dynamic risk levels and domain dynamic risk levels?

What is the ability of the YASI to predict the detention decision?