Standards and Testing for Offender Tracking Technologies

Small black ankle bracelet with attached electronic monitoring device
Small black ankle bracelet with attached electronic monitoring device
Small black ankle bracelet with attached electornic monitoring device

Examples of Ankle Bracelets

NIJ photo (see reuse policy).

NIJ is developing standards and testing protocols for offender tracking devices. A Special Technical Committee is helping NIJ accomplish the task. Three products will be produced: 1) the standard, 2) the conformity and assessment requirements, and 3) a selection and application guide.

Members of the Special Technical Committee include community corrections professionals, technologists, and researchers. The Committee has consulted the manufacturer to determine the relevance of the minimum requirements and the best methods for testing equipment against the standard.

NIJ's Special Technical Committee has identified five characteristics of minimum requirements for offender tracking devices:

  1. Ergonomics — the physical attributes of the device, such as its size and weight.
  2. Robustness — the extent to which the device can withstand wear and tear over time.
  3. Circumvention — ability of the device to defeat attempts to disable it.  
  4. Technical operation — functioning ability under different conditions, such as extreme cold, dust, rain, humidity.
  5. Software requirements — data to be collected and reports to be provided from the device.

NIJ's minimal requirements for electronic tracking devices will ensure reliability and integrity of the equipment. The standard will help corrections officials make wise purchasing decisions knowing that products that meet the NIJ standards will return reliable location information regardless of the conditions under which they are used. 

Date Created: March 23, 2012