DV offenders less likely to commit crimes when tracked

·1-min read
Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS

Domestic violence offenders who are electronically tracked around the clock are less likely to repeat their crimes, analysis shows.

The Domestic Violence Electronic Monitoring program is the first electronic monitoring program in NSW to specifically target domestic violence offenders. 

Introduced by NSW Corrective Services in 2016, parolees in the trial wore a GPS-enabled monitoring device fitted to their ankles to track their movements all day and night.

Offenders are contacted if they enter an exclusion zone and asked to leave, and police are contacted if they don't comply.

An evaluation by the Bureau of Crime Statistics and Research (BOCSAR) found people on the program had lower rates of reoffending and breaches of apprehended domestic violence orders.

"Participation is associated with significant reductions in the probability that an offender reoffends and/or is imprisoned within a year of release," the report released on Wednesday said.

The year-long study compared 226 participants with 768 people released from prison who met the eligibility criteria for the program but did not participate.

Program participants were 9.6 per cent less likely to commit a new offence of any type, 32.9 per cent less likely to commit a new domestic violence offence, 19.4 per cent less likely to breach domestic violence orders and 11.4 per cent less likely to return to jail.

BOCSAR executive director Jackie Fitzgerald said the results were encouraging.

"These results clearly show that electronic monitoring can be used to effectively manage serious domestic violence offenders in the community without compromising the safety of victim/survivors," she said.

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