The Electronic Ball and Chain? The Operation and Impact of Home Detention with Electronic Monitoring in New Zealand
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AbstractIn New Zealand, Amendment No. 9 (1999) of the Criminal Justice Act 1985 introduced Home Detention Orders as an early release from prison option, implemented on the 1st October 1999. The orders, with electronic monitoring,were available to convicted offenders who had not committed serious offences and who were sentenced to, or serving, varying lengths of imprisonment.The purpose of the new scheme was to ease the transition of prison inmates back into the community. It was also hoped that home detention would result in a reduction in overall time spent in prison, as well as addressing offending behaviour through the intensive supervision and programs accompanying the home confinement. After reviewing the literature on home detention, and outlining the development and operation of home detention in New Zealand, we will discuss research undertaken by the authors during 2001. The research aimed to ascertain the impact of home detention on offenders, and their families, and to explore the views of other stakeholders, for example, probation officers and prison board members.We interviewed 21 offenders, 21 sponsors, 6 probation officers, 2 security staff and observed over 20 members of district prison boards. Eleven key findings were identified: including factors of suitability, impacts on behaviour and relationships, gender issues and the effectiveness of home detention.We conclude with a brief discussion of the implications of the research: the need to support families and sponsors, ongoing ethical and legal issues, and the acceptance of surveillance as the norm in New Zealand.
Gibbs, A., & King, D. (2003). The Electronic Ball and Chain? The Operation and Impact of Home Detention with Electronic Monitoring in New Zealand. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Criminology, 36(1), 1–17. doi:10.1375/acri.36.1.1