Completed audit of parolees and community based offenders on electronic monitoring
Fyles, Natasha Kate
Australian Labor Party
Media Releases for 13th Assembly 2016 - 2020; Media Releases; ParliamentNT
Made available via the Publications (Legal Deposit) Act 2004 (NT).
Prisoners; Sentencing; Electronic surveillance
Northern Territory Government
Issued as a Media Release
Northern Territory Government
Executive Summary Page 5 of 30 1 Executive Summary On 5 June 2019, the Chief Minister requested an urgent audit to determine the degree to which the monitoring of parolees and people subject to electronic monitoring is compliant with legislation, policy, directives and practice and has been conducted in accordance with the Community Corrections Offender Management Framework (OMF). Further, the audit to consider whether electronic monitoring is operating as an effective tool to monitor the compliance of offenders. Community Corrections and the Professional Standards Unit have now audited 1091 people on parole and 196 people subject to electronic monitoring. There are 49 parolees who are also on electronic monitoring, therefore a total of 256 files from across the jurisdiction were subject to review. The audit did not identify any serious issues in the management of parolees or community-based offenders on electronic monitoring. Key highlights from the audit report are as follows: The majority of parolees and offenders on electronic monitoring have an individual case plan in place. All supervised offenders are subject to a standardised, high intensity monitoring and compliance regime until their individual plan is completed. The majority of parolees and offenders on electronic monitoring, who are subject to alcohol and/or drug restrictions, have been subject to random testing in line with policy requirements. In cases where the policy requirements have not been met, this often reflects a short period where testing has not been sufficiently frequent rather than the absence of testing. Other impediments to frequent testing include the remote location of some offenders, offenders employment commitments requiring travel away from home and that the random nature of testing requires unannounced visits at times when parolees and offenders may not be available. Although a portion of parolees and offenders on electronic monitoring had demonstrated some noncompliance with their order, these had been identified and actioned by Probation and Parole Officers in all cases. No instances of non-compliance were identified during the audit that required remedial action by Probation and Parole Officers. The risk profile of parolees includes people on parole for life due to murder, manslaughter, violent and sexually related offences. This type of offending often attracts longer sentences with non-parole periods, to allow for the adequate supervision of these offenders upon their release. Electronic monitoring assists with information gathering in relation to the locality of an offender and can detect any unauthorised movements. It is a useful tool to assist with tracking the movements of offenders, however electronic monitoring does not limit or monitor who the offender may be with or what they are doing. Probation and Parole Officers are required to analyse the data and work with offenders to ensure they are complying with their orders and requirements. Corrective action was required in some minor administrative areas, such as documents not being readily available or stored in the wrong place on the electronic file. None of these administrative matters constituted a risk to public safety. The audit report makes eight recommendations to: ensure drug and alcohol testing and electronic monitoring resources are focused on monitoring the compliance of higher risk offenders; ensure administrative tasks are completed; streamline recruitment processes for Probation and Parole Officers; and increase Community Corrections capacity to conduct drug and alcohol tests and audits. 1 The scope was revised from the initially reported 103 parolees, to include parolees who were in custody serving a sanction on 5 June 2019 and parolees who have federal and interstate parole orders registered in the NT.