Electronic monitoring: Important information for occupants

The Court or the New Zealand Parole Board can impose electronic monitoring (EM) as part of an offender’s sentence or order. Electronic monitoring can also be granted to suitable defendants as a condition of bail while awaiting a court hearing.

Being electronically monitored requires offenders/defendants to wear a tracker 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. A monitoring unit will be placed at their home address.

Before an offender/defendant can be released to an address, a Probation Officer will carry out a suitability check with regards to both the address and other occupants. Part of that process requires them to talk to all relevant occupants at the address to ensure they are happy for the offender/defendant to live there.

For more information, visit www.corrections.govt.nz and type “Electronic Monitoring” in the search box.

Who is a "relevant occupant"?

  • A relevant occupant is any person, 16 years of age and over, who is going to be living at the same address as the offender/defendant if they are given an electronically monitored sentence or order.
  • The relevant occupant includes anyone who is thinking about moving in or who moves into the address after the offender/defendant has been granted an electronically monitored sentence or order, or EM bail.

What information will be sought from relevant occupants?

A Probation Officer will contact the occupants at the proposed address.

If they agree in principle to the offender/defendant living with them, the Probation Officer will visit them at the house to talk about what is needed for electronic monitoring and go through a safety checklist. This will take about one hour. Occupants will also need to consent to a criminal and traffic history check and other checks that may need to be completed to assist the Probation Officer with their assessment.

A Field Officer may also check that the electronic monitoring equipment will work at the address.

Obligations of relevant occupants

The occupants must agree to a number of conditions

INCLUDING:

  • to have monitoring equipment in the house
  • not to move or damage the monitoring equipment
  • to give a Field Officer (on showing proper identification) access to the house to maintain the equipment, respond to alerts, or remove the equipment
  • to give Police and Corrections staff access to the address for EM purposes
  • Each relevant occupant will sign the Occupants Consent Form to show that they:
    -  consent to the offender/defendant living at the address on electronic monitoring and
    -  agree to abide by the conditions set for the electronically monitored sentence or order or EM bail.

A copy of this document will be left at the address for occupants to refer to.

What happens if there are children living at the address?

Probation Officers will make enquiries with Child Youth and Family:

  • if there are children, aged 16 years or under, living at the proposed address. This will happen even if the children are only there part-time
  • if the offender/defendant has past convictions or current charges of offending against children.

Can occupants refuse consent?

  • Yes, an occupant may refuse consent
  • Occupants are encouraged to express any concerns they might have about the impact electronically monitored sentences or orders or EM bail will have on them, family members or other occupants
  • It is important that occupants do not feel duty bound or pressured to give their permission for the offender/defendant to live at their address
  • If consent is not given by one or more relevant occupants the application will be declined.

If consent is not given, the application will be declined.

What pressures might be on occupants?

An electronically monitored sentence or order, or EM Bail can be stressful for occupants as well as offenders/defendants for a variety of reasons...

SUCH AS:

  • the restrictions on the offender/defendant’s ability to leave the address
  • in some cases, because the offender/defendant cannot bring income into the house
  • the lack of general freedom of movement or social contact due to other EM conditions
  • lack of privacy with random visits being conducted by Police personnel and Field Officers to make sure EM conditions are being complied with.

All of this can be difficult for other occupants who provide support and do extra tasks on behalf of the offender/defendant.

Electronic monitoring can be stressful for occupants as well as offenders/defendants.

Once given, can occupants withdraw their consent?

  • Yes. Occupants may withdraw their consent at any time. Occupants don’t have to give any reason for withdrawing their consent.
  • Unless another suitable address can be found the offender/defendant may be taken into Police custody and appear before a judge who will re-examine suitability of an electronically monitored sentence or order.

Who can I contact if I have any questions or feel at risk?

When necessary, leave the address if this is a safe option for you, family members and other occupants.

EM Bail

In a non-emergency – not involving a risk to personal safety if you have a defendant on EM bail, contact the EM Bail Team on 0800 EM BAIL (362 245).

The EM Bail Team at Corrections has an ongoing role keeping in contact with the bailee and occupants of the house.

Home Detention, Community Detention, Parole with Residential Restrictions, Extended Supervision

In a non-emergency – contact the Probation Officer of the person on electronic monitoring. They are there to support you.

In an emergency - where personal safety is at immediate risk CALL 111 and ask for the Police

Electronic Monitoring Equipment

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Taking care of the Electronic Monitoring Equipment:

THINGS YOU MUST NOT DO:

  • let the cordless charger get wet
  • move the monitoring unit
  • open any of the equipment
  • unplug the monitoring unit
  • cover the monitoring unit
  • let the monitoring unit get wet
  • paint or otherwise modify any of the equipment
  • expose the equipment to extreme heat or cold
  • tamper with the equipment in any way.

The monitoring equipment must not be damaged in any way.

What if the Tracker or Home Unit is damaged?

Any damage must be immediately reported to the offender’s Probation Officer or, for defendants, the EM Bail Team 0800 EM BAIL (362 245). You must provide all information about how the unit was damaged and, if the damage is intentional, reparation will be pursued through the courts.

Who are the Field Officers?

A person from the monitoring company who will install, maintain and check the monitoring equipment and respond to any alerts.

The Department contracts 3M to provide and manage the monitoring equipment and the Monitoring Centre.

3M staff carry out all electronic monitoring field services including installing and servicing your electronic monitoring equipment and responding to alerts.

Field Officers will wear a 3M/FIRST Security identification at all times and will be in a FIRST Security uniform.

How can I find out more about Electronic Monitoring

You can find more information about EM from:

Information about EM bail can also be found on the Police website www.police.govt.nz