Community Corrections in Nova Scotia enhances the supervision of high risk conditional sentence offenders through the application of electronic supervision technology.
Electronic supervision will:
Nova Scotia is the first province in Canada to use the Global Positioning System (GPS )to track offenders in the community. The Electronic Supervision program using GPS and cellular technologies is a supervision tool for confirming compliance on a 24/7 basis. It ensures offenders are where they should be at all times, whether in the home or in the community. The Offender Monitoring Centre monitors the movements of offenders through its 24/7 operation.
When did the program begin?
The program began May 1, 2006, in Halifax Regional Municipality and Province-wide implementation of Electronic Supervision has taken place.
What is the criteria for an offender being considered for the electronic monitoring program?
The target population for electronic supervision is initially restricted to conditional sentence offenders on house arrest or curfew who have been deemed high risk. As well, there must be a condition for electronic supervision contained within the Conditional Sentence Order.
Additional eligibility criteria, discretionary factors and a suitability assessment tool are utilized to assist in making this determination. Some discretionary factors include:
How exactly does the system work? Will the electronic monitoring system monitor the offender 24 hours per day? Can the offender take the bracelet off if he/she so chooses?
Offenders will be monitored 24 hours a day by the Offender Monitoring Centre. An active system will track the offender throughout the day via cellular connections and GPS technology. The Offender Monitoring Centre will be notified if the offender attempts to remove or tamper with the bracelet in any way and the Centre is also notified of several other alert/violations.
What happens to the offenders if the electronic supervision system shows that they are violating the terms of their conditional sentence order?
When a violation occurs, a predetermined response protocol will be followed which may or may not involve the police depending on the nature of the violation/alert. Where an offender is found to be in violation, the police and/or the probation officer will initiate an Allegation of Breach of a Conditional Sentence Order, bringing the offender back before the Court for review.
Will electronic supervision of offenders have a significant impact on crime in Nova Scotia?
Electronic supervision will increase overall offender accountability and will assist in reducing reoffending by individuals under community supervision - this will have an overall positive impact on public safety.