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United States

Building Prisons Without Walls Using GPS Devices 545

Hugh Pickens writes "Graeme Wood writes in the Atlantic that increasingly GPS devices are looking like an appealing alternative to conventional incarceration, as it becomes ever clearer that traditional prison has become more or less synonymous with failed prison. 'By almost any metric, our practice of locking large numbers of people behind bars has proved at best ineffective and at worst a national disgrace,' writes Wood. But new devices such as ExacuTrack suggest a revolutionary possibility: that we might do away with the current, expensive array of guards and cells and fences, in favor of a regimen of close, constant surveillance on the outside and swift, certain punishment for any deviations from an established, legally unobjectionable routine. 'The potential upside is enormous. Not only might such a system save billions of dollars annually, it could theoretically produce far better outcomes, training convicts to become law-abiders rather than more-ruthless lawbreakers,' adds Wood. 'The ultimate result could be lower crime rates, at a reduced cost, and with considerably less inhumanity in the bargain.'"

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