Faculty of Education, Social Sciences and Law

School of Law

Research Student: Hye-in Chung

A critical study on the changes in the characteristics of probation system in South Korea after the introduction of GPS electronic monitoring system

Photo of Hye-in Chung

Electronic monitoring system has been introduced in Korea since September, 2008 after heated disputes. Unlike U.K or U.S, Korean EMS was specifically adopted as means of intensive supervision for special offenders, especially serious sex offenders. After several serious sexual crime cases against children, the combination of huge media attention and public demands along with populism made its adoption even faster. Therefore there has been ongoing controversy regarding its legal characteristics and application.

The main focus of my research is how the introduction of EMS has affected the status of probation system in terms of the whole criminal justice system. The government including the ministry of justice and the national assembly put a lot of emphasis on its implementation and effectiveness, therefore many probation officers have gone through enormous changes in their works along with huge pressures from media. The research might include details of changes in their works and whether there have been any changes in their view on the probation system, itself.

 The main purpose of my study is to examine the changes on the view of probation system after the introduction of EMS in Korea, from offender-centred approach to the society-centred approach. In the past, the main focus of probation system was resocialization of offenders so that it was more focused on supports before reentering society. However, now the main focus is segregation of offenders from the society so that the society can be safe from potential criminals. Therefore, the main focus has been shifted from supporting offenders from strict surveillance. It is quite important to understand the recent changes in probation system, since it reflects our viewpoints of criminal justice system and its goal. Also, it would help us to develop more proper model to deal with future tasks to meet the purpose of restorative justice.

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