Electronic monitoring: Important information for prisoners

Electronic monitoring may be imposed by the New Zealand Parole Board (NZPB) as part of your parole or extended supervision order. This requires you to wear an electronic tracker 24 hours per day, seven days a week. A monitoring unit will be installed in your home.

This booklet provides you with information about electronic monitoring to help you complete your order successfully. It is important you understand how your order works with electronic monitoring, so please talk to your Case Manager if you have any questions.

Getting Started

THE PEOPLE INVOLVED

Your case manager will meet with you to discuss your release plan/proposal in order to provide this information to Community Probation and the New Zealand Parole Board.

If you are released on parole with residential restrictions your Probation Officer is the person at Corrections who will manage your sentence or order from start to finish.

Your Probation Officer will complete a full induction with you explaining the requirements
of your sentence or order.

Your Probation Officer will:

  • explain the conditions of your parole order
  • provide you with contact phone numbers including an after hours phone number
  • visit you at your residence regularly
  • check that you meet all of your conditions
  • assist you to address your offending
  • prepare reports for the court or NZPB when required
  • liaise with the Monitoring Centre
  • give advice and support to anyone sharing your residence.

Monitoring company: The company contracted to supply and maintain monitoring equipment and carry out monitoring checks.

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

Your Probation Officer will meet with you and your family / support people regularly
through your sentence or order.

About Parole with Electronic Monitoring

PAROLE WITH RESIDENTIAL RESTRICTIONS

There are two types of Parole with residential restrictions:

1. Parole with full residential restrictions (electronic monitoring is 24/7)
2. Parole with partial residential restrictions (electronic monitoring is at curfew times specified by the NZPB).

When looking at electronic monitoring (EM) as part of your parole report a Probation Officer will need to visit your proposed address and meet with all of the adult occupants (aged 16 years and over) to gain their written consent to have you live with them while on EM.

The occupants will also need to consent to a criminal history check being completed and you need to be aware your full criminal history will be disclosed to them. This is so they can make an informed decision about whether to agree to you residing with them. The Probation Officer will contact other third parties such as Police, Child, Youth and Family, your employer and other support people, to assess the overall suitability of your EM proposal.

Your written consent as well as the written consent of the occupants at the address will be required in order for
residential restrictions to be imposed.

While you are on parole with full residential restrictions you will be electronically monitored at all times. If you are subject to partial residential restrictions you will be monitored during your curfew period.

You must stay at the residence specified on your release licence for the period of your parole. If your circumstances change or you want to move to another residence you must talk to your Probation Officer first. You can only live at a residence that has been approved by your Probation Officer.

Reporting requirements

During your parole order, you will be required to report to your Probation Officer and your Probation Officer will also complete regular home visits. Your Probation Officer will explain how often you have to report in during your parole.

If you do not report as required you may face enforcement action.

Approved Absences

If your conditions allow it and your Probation Officer has approved it, you may leave your residence:

  • to comply with any special conditions
  • to look for, or go to work
  • to attend training, other activities or programmes
  • to attend a restorative justice conference or other process relating to your offending
  • for any other purpose specifically approved by your Probation Officer.

Any absence MUST be approved by your Probation Officer.

Parole with Whereabouts Conditions

The NZPB are able to impose special conditions to restrict places you go to. If these conditions are imposed, you may be electronically monitored to check your compliance with these conditions.

Your consent is NOT required for these conditions to be imposed.

Extended Supervision Orders

While on an extended supervision order you will be electronically monitored at all times.

You must stay at the residence specified on your court order for the period of your order. If your circumstances change or you want to move to another residence you must talk to your Probation Officer first.

You can only live at a residence that has been approved by your Probation Officer.

Reporting Requirements

During your order, you will be required to report to your Probation Officer and they will complete regular home visits. Your Probation Officer will explain how often you have to report in during your order.

If you do not report as required you may face enforcement action.

Some General Rules

Access to your residence

While you are on electronic monitoring, your residence must be accessible to Field Officers, Police and your Probation Officer at all times - 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and in all weather. Dogs on the property must be controlled for others’ safety.

Anyone who refuses access to a Probation Officer, Police or any authorised person checking the equipment, such as a Field Officer, may be charged under section 80T or 69H of the sentencing Act 2002 or section 72 of the Parole Act 2002. If convicted of refusing entry, you may be fined up to $5000 or imprisoned for up to three months.

Failure to comply with any special condition is a breach of your sentence or order and you may face enforcement action.

Changes in circumstance

If your circumstances change you must tell your Probation Officer immediately.

Programs and special conditions

Your parole order may include a special condition to attend one or more programmes to help you address the causes of your offending such as:

  • a residential treatment programme
  • a rehabilitation programme delivered by departmental facilitators
  • community-based programmes such as alcohol and drug counselling or domestic violence programmes.

You may have other special conditions that you should not contact the victim/s of your offending and/or to stay away from certain individuals or groups such as gangs.

A Probation Officer will issue you with an instruction to report or a direction notice for each occasion that you must attend a programme or counselling appointment.

Working while on Electronic Monitoring

Employment is encouraged and supported, however, some employment is not suitable while on EM. For example employment that:

  • has casual hours or on-call requirements
  • is related to your offending (eg, with co-offenders) or gives you unsupervised access to types of places where you have offended
  • occurs where the monitoring tracker may interfere with on-site equipment (eg, some hospital work)
  • requires you to be away from your residence overnight or for more than 24 hours
  • requires you to carry out any activity that is not suitable while wearing the monitoring equipment (see unsuitable activities)
  • takes place where your presence cannot be verified.

Talk to your Case Manager or Probation Officer about any employment queries.

Unsuitable Activities

Some activities are not suitable for you to take part in while you are wearing the tracker because of the risk of damaging the tracker or hurting yourself or others.

Even if you have an approved absence for sporting activities, there are still limits on the types of things you can do.

Unsuitable activities include:

  • water sports (water skiing, surfing, diving etc)
  • contact sports (rugby, league, soccer, hockey, kick boxing, etc)
  • flying (civil aviation regulations require removal of the tracker before flying).

Some locations might be unsuitable for you to visit such as hospitals where the tracker may interfere with on-site equipment.

If you want to participate in any activity you must speak to your Probation Officer first.

Equipment Information

Tracker: A waterproof, tamper-proof ankle strap fitted with a transmitter. This must be worn at all times during your sentence.

Monitoring unit: The monitoring unit is installed at the residence to monitor your movements.

Cordless charger: This is a charging unit which plugs into the bottom of your tracker.

 

EM_Prisoners.jpg 

Charging your tracker

If you have a GPS tracker you will be required to charge this for 2 hours every day. The cordless charger enables you to charge your tracker without being tethered to a power socket and will allow you to carry out most normal activities in your home environment while charging. You must not take the cordless charger away from your residence.

You need to charge your GPS tracker for two (2) hours every day.

How long does it take to fully charge?

To fully charge a low tracker battery will take approximately 2 hours. The “Power” light on the charger turns from red to green when the battery is fully charged. The tracker vibrates when being connected to, and disconnected from, charge.

It is a breach of your conditions not to charge your tracker.

Installation

If you are released on to parole with residential restrictions the monitoring unit and tracker are usually installed the day you are released. The monitoring unit will be plugged into a power socket and put somewhere it cannot be bumped or moved.

Exclusion areas

If you’re released with a condition restricting the place/s you can go to, your Probation Officer will talk to you about the places you are excluded from.

Taking care of your Electronic Monitoring Equipment

Talk to your Probation Officer if you have any questions about what may qualify as an emergency.

DO NOT:

  • have the cordless charger attached to the tracker when bathing or showering (GPS only)
  • let the cordless charger or monitoring unit get wet
  • move or cover the monitoring unit
  • open any of the equipment
  • unplug the monitoring unit
  • paint or otherwise modify any of the equipment
  • expose the equipment to extreme heat or cold
  • damage or tamper with the equipment in any way
  • leave the address while the cordless charger is attached to your tracker (GPS only).

You must tell your Probation Officer as soon as possible if you have problems with your electricity supply, phone line, monitoring unit or tracker.

What if the Tracker or Home Unit is damaged?

Any damage must be immediately reported to your Probation Officer. You must provide all information about how the unit got damaged and, if the damage is intentional, reparation will be pursued through the courts.