The Corrections Amendment (Electronic Monitoring) Bill 2020 (Tas) (the “Bill”) was introduced to Tasmania’s House of Assembly on 29 July 2020, by Minister for Corrections, Elise Archer. According to the explanatory memorandum, the Bill proposes amendments to the Corrections Act 1997 (the “Act”) to “provide express powers for the Parole Board to impose electronic monitoring conditions on a parole order”.
According to the Bill’s explanatory memorandum, Tasmanian courts already have explicit powers in legislation to impose a condition requiring electronic monitoring when making a home detention order or a family violence order. Currently, section 72 of the Act enables the Parole Board (“the Board”) to make a parole order subject to such terms and conditions as the Board considers necessary, but does not contain any specific provisions in relation to electronic monitoring.
The explanatory memorandum also notes that the proposed amendment will insert a new subsection (5A) to section 72 of the Act, that explicitly provides the power for electronic monitoring of prisoners who are released on parole, without limiting the general powers already available to the Board to impose conditions on a parolee. The Bill provides certainty that the Board may include electronic monitoring as a condition of parole.
As the Minister noted in her speech to parliament:
"other than Tasmania, all states and the Northern Territory have legislation that explicitly provides for electronic monitoring of prisoners who are released on parole. The Australian Capital Territory does not undertake electronic monitoring of offenders in the community".
Under the proposed amendments, the Board will be able to specify conditions requiring a prisoner who is released on parole:
According to the explanatory memorandum, the Bill:
"does not expand the range of controls or prohibitions that is already imposed under the Act. Electronic monitoring provides a means to more effectively ascertain whether a parolee is complying with certain conditions and initiate an appropriate response if a breach is suspected".
In her speech, the Minister commented:
Cassy O'Connor, Leader of thesaid in a Media Release:
In their submission on the Bill, Community Legal Centres Tasmania commented:
Civil Liberties Australia also said in their submission on the Bill “ … in introducing the Bill, the Government undertake to evaluate the extent to which the amendments achieve these intended outcomes – say, every two years – and report back to the Tasmanian public.”
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Corrections Amendment (Electronic Monitoring) Bill 2020 (Tas) - Bill and supporting information available from TimeBase LawOne Service
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