Electronic Monitoring on Bail (EM bail)
Electronic Monitoring on Bail (EM Bail) is available for suitable defendants and young people (12- 17 years of age) who would otherwise continue to be held in custody, in prison, or in the instance of a young person in a youth residence, while they wait for a court hearing. The defendant and young person are considered innocent until found guilty at a trial.
EM bail requires a person to remain at an approved address at all times and be monitored by Corrections for up to 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Other conditions attached to their bail may allow a bailee permission to leave for approved purposes, such as to attend court, medical appointments or in some cases employment /education.
For an EM bail application to be granted, judges must be satisfied that the public, witnesses, victims, and the people who will share the address are safe from the defendant or young person.
Before an application for EM bail is granted, judges must take into consideration advice provided by a probation officer (who has assessed the defendant or young person, the proposed address and any people who live there). Judges will also look at:
- whether the defendant or young person may fail to appear
- whether the defendant or young person may interfere with witnesses or evidence;
- whether the defendant or young person may offend while on bail.
Shared Service Model EM Bail
Corrections and New Zealand Police (Police) jointly managed EM bail under a shared service model. This means that:
- all applications filed from 13 January 2014 will need to be made on the revised EM bail application form.
- for all new applications, a probation officer will complete assessments of EM bail applicants, attend EM bail hook up and complete an induction with the bailee. The central EM Bail Team at Corrections will manage the 0800 EM BAIL line, liaise with the monitoring company and be the central point of contact for EM bailees.
- for all young people who apply for EM Bail, the probation officer will complete the assessment in consultation with the Child Youth and Family youth residence worker or youth justice social worker, visit and assess the proposed address, attend the EM bail hook up and complete an induction (with a social worker in attendance). The central EM Bail Team at Corrections will manage the 0800 EM BAIL line, liaise with the monitoring company and be the central point of contact for EM bailees.
- Police will continue to be responsible for:
- responding to any instances of non-compliance with EM bail (i.e. breaches) and undertaking all enforcement action
- managing all other non-electronically monitored bail conditions (i.e. non-association conditions).
How EM bail works
The electronic anklet sends a continuous signal to a monitoring unit installed at the bailee’s residence and in some cases their workplace. The monitoring unit in turn sends real time information to a control centre, letting the security staff know that the person is where they’re supposed to be.
Conditions offenders must follow
Along with electronic monitoring as a condition of bail, a bailee may also have other conditions attached to their bail including:
- living at an approved address
- working at an approved place of employment/education
- not associating with certain people
- not moving to a new residential address unless approved by the Court
- not consuming alcohol or drugs.
In all cirumstances bailees must contact the EM Bail Team at Corrections if they want to plan some time away from their approved address. The EM Bail Team will tell them what you need to do and what happens next.
Bailees must contact the EM Bail Team at least three working days before any planned short-term absence. Approval is not automatic and will be at the discretion of the EM Bail Team.
Holding bailees to account
EM bail does not stop a person leaving an agreed zone, but if an EM bailee doesn’t follow the rules we call this non-compliance and treat it very seriously.
If a bailee breaks a rule, an alarm is raised and police respond. The bailee may be arrested and have to appear before the Court who will decide whether EM bail should continue.
Benefits of EM bail
- Sometimes a bailee can continue working and contribute positively to their family.
- For a young person it can mean they can continue with their education, attend training and stay connected to their family/whanau.
- Staying in a home environment means people on EM bail aren't negatively influenced by other hardened criminals remanded in custody.